Shark-dragging video shows lack empathy, need for power and control

A licensed psychologist who reviewed the viral shark-dragging video and disturbing images of animal treatment attributed to a Florida man said they show a lack of empathy and a need for power or control.

“An individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals and not have any remorse shows a disconnect and a lack of empathy, a lack of consciousness,” said Rachel Needle, a West Palm Beach-based psychologist. “I’d be curious to see what their family is like in terms of kindness to others and to animals.”

Needle said while there is some research linking childhood animal abuse to adult violence, there is no direct link between abusing animals and the likelihood someone will abuse humans.

Related: Man in shark dragging video asks for increased police patrols.

The shark-dragging video, and a subsequent video that shows people pouring beer over a hammerhead’s gills, have sparked nationwide outrage and spurred more than 8,000 people to sign a Change.org petition demanding the men in the videos serve 1,000 community service hours and have their fishing licenses revoked.

“This sociopathic behavior demands attention and prevention,” the petition says. “Many feel that this act of violence is in fact a criminal act.”

Needle said sociopaths tend to be more impulsive and have difficultly forming relationships, where psychopaths are selfish, manipulative, have a lack of remorse, and are considered more dangerous than sociopaths.

She said the fact that there was more than one person involved may also explain the lack of feeling of responsibility for the act.

“Certainly they weren’t thinking they were going to get into any trouble,” Needle said. “People want to show of everything on social media and they probably thought this was cool.”

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Screen capture of violent shark-dragging video that went viral this week.

Second shark abuse video shows beer poured over hammerhead’s gills

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a second video that has surfaced of people pouring beer over the gills of a protected hammerhead shark.

The video comes as outrage continues to mount over a video of men laughing as they drag a shark behind their boat at high speeds.

It’s unclear whether the two videos are of the same men, although social media has linked them.

Related: Man in shark-dragging video asks for extra police patrols.

Robert Klepper, a spokesman for the FWC said he cannot say when the investigation into the shark dragging video will be finished.

“Since there are so many moving parts to an investigation like this, we are unable to provide a timeline as to when it might be complete,” Klepper said. All I can say is that investigators are working diligently on this case.”

One of the men seen in the disturbing shark-dragging video that went viral earlier this week has a history of posting troubling photos with wildlife in the past and has been previously investigated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed Wednesday that there was an open investigation in 2015 of the previous photos, but is not linking the man in the shark-dragging video with that investigation. The investigation was closed this year with no charges filed.

Social media has not been shy about publicizing the man’s identity, including posting his name, date of birth and address in Palmetto, Fla., on multiple message boards and websites.

The Palm Beach Post is not naming the 21-year-old because he has not been identified officially by authorities.

Screen capture of violent shark-dragging video that went viral this week.