Hawaii Men Receive PETA Award for Rescuing Shark Tangled in Fishing Line

Beachgoers Acted Quickly to Remove Hooks Embedded in Tiger Shark's Mouth

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Honolulu, Hawaii – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to Micah Arnold and Marco Perez, who were swimming at the beach near Sherwood Forest in Waimānalo when they discovered a tiger shark tangled in fishing line attached to a buoy, with two fish hooks lodged in her mouth. The swimmers pulled the shark to shore, reached into her mouth to cut out the hooks, and then carried her back to the water.

“When we let her go, she was really weak and disoriented, and she kept getting pushed back to shore by the waves, so we guided her over the waves for over twenty minutes and went deeper with her until she was able to swim off,” Perez told PETA.

The original footage was caught by their friend Ricardo Aguilera, who wasn’t surprised by his friends’ actions: “We take care of our animals and nature. … It’s a really big thing here in Hawaii to be connected to our ‘Aumakua, ancestral guardian spirits, and many are in the form of manō, which are sharks.”

“I was scared at first—but happy to help a creature [who] was hurt,” said Arnold.

“Thanks to these swimmers’ tremendous kindness and bravery, this shark was able to escape a prolonged, painful, terrifying death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA hopes their kindness and selflessness will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—offers tips for helping wildlife on its website. The two compassionate rescuers will receive framed certificates and a box of delicious vegan cookies.

For more information, please visit PETA.org

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind