Shark Thief From San Antonio Speaks, Says Shark Was In Distress
Earlier this week we talked about the shark-napping that happened in San Antonio last weekend. Now we're finally hearing from the shark thief himself. On Saturday, three thieves in San Antonio made worldwide headlines for their brazen attempt to steal a shark from an aquarium at the San Antonio Aquarium. Surveillance video showed three suspects grabbing a shark by its backfin and wrapping it in a wet towel before transporting it to a bucket. The thieves were seen before they could successfully get away from the aquarium, although one suspect was able to drive away with the shark. That man, 38 year-old Anthony Shannon, turned himself in afterwards and has now spoken with news channel KENS5.
In an interview with that station, Shannon admits that he did steal the shark, but says he was doing it to actually help the animal. The man has over 30 years of experience with marine animals and is a self-proclaimed animal activist. Shannon said a friend told him that the conditions at San Antonio Aquarium were poor and that animals living there were frequently dying. Shannon decided he wanted to go in himself and investigate.
"So I said, as a salt distributor, I was going to send in a guy, 'Anthony Shannon,' that he's my buddy, he's an aquarist in San Antonio. So when I came, I posed as myself, I got a full tour of the store. She showed me everything, and the room, and ‘check out the systems.’"
Shannon said on Saturday he went to the aquarium and watched the animals in the touch pool for about an hour before he took action.
"I pulled the net out, I told the customers to get out of the way, ‘I'm going to quarantine the shark. I'm an activist, not a criminal, and basically, I don't want to produce any crimes that will make me lose my family or big charges and to open an eye and make things better."
Since Anthony Shannon went public with his findings at the aquarium, a Care2 petition has been launched with almost 19,000 signatures asking the aquarium to close down their touch pool. The San Antonio Aquarium has responded saying they will not get rid of the touch pools and are doing everything in their power to keep their animals safe. You can read the aquarium's entire response here.