Cat sharks used for tourist photo opps relased

Cancun, Q.R. — Cat sharks that had been used for years for tourist photo opportunities have been released.

Four cat sharks that were living in captivity at Playa Tiburón at Isla Mujeres were anonymously released according to the Animal Liberation Front Mexico. Hours earlier, SinEmbargo denounced the conditions to which at least one of the animals was subjected, as it was used – under the sun’s rays and for hours – to be photographed with dozens of tourists.

Activist Victor Hirales, president and founder of Derecho Sin Fronteras, reported that community residents in Isla Mujeres learned that the four cat sharks had been released without knowing who had released them.

“They were in a corral in the sea, only opened the cage to leave. We consider it a direct action. This type of action dodges all the bureaucratic and political obstacles to immediately attend situations in which the authorities prevent to assert the rights of somebody, in this case those of the sharks. That action was perhaps the only hope for those non-dying sharks locked up being exploited,” Hirales said.

He added that the ideal scenario would have been to have environmental and justice authorities “do their job and rescued and rehabilitate those four sharks for reinsertion, but this did not happen.”

Araceli Domínguez Rodríguez, president of the civil association Grupo Ecologista del Mayab (Gema), reported that the organization in charge had already filed several complaints before the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) for the case of the sharks.

“The more complaints you present, nothing happens. Profepa does nothing. Profepa here does not exist. The wild animals in Quintana Roo suffer constant mistreatment,” he said.

So far the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) has not reported anything on the case.