TikToker live-feeds sharks at home, says haters are just jealous

  • An Australian TikToker installed a shark tank in his living room.
  • The anonymous man posts live stream videos on TikTok as @thegyp_aus.
  • An Animal Welfare Institute expert suggests people stop paying attention if they want it to stop.

Australian TikToker @thegyp_aus has been receiving criticism for installing a shark tank in his living room.

The videos show him feeding the sharks live, cleaning the tank and adding new sea animals.

His most viral video, which has nearly 40 million views as of May 25, shows him adding a 14-inch Port Jackson shark to the tank and documenting it being nearly eaten by a 4-foot-long Bumblebee grouper. In addition to a door being slammed to add sound effects, Fred the grouper is heard being scolded before the shark manages to escape.

His videos received mixed reviews, with some people fascinated by the novelty and others calling it animal cruelty.

“Your aquarium is amazing! I could stare at it all day,” read a comment on one of her TikTok videos. “This is too small for these sharks. Please get a bigger one,” read another in the same video.

The 5,200-gallon tank is currently home to 11 sharks – a blacktip reef shark, two 4-foot-long whitetip sharks, two Port Jackson sharks, three epaulette sharks, two banjo sharks and a bamboo shark, per Yahoo News Australia, quoting @thegyp_aus.

The tank is also home to other marine life, including moray eels and rays, according to Yahoo.

The entire setup, including the sharks, cost him about $327,000, according to Yahoo citing the man.

The TikToker man told Insider that “the haters are just jealous.”

“People are quick to criticize. However, these people are hypocrites who go to zoos and pay to see animals in cages,” @thegyp_aus, who declined to share his real name, told Insider.

He added that he considers sharks his babies and treats them “like any dog ​​lover” treats their dogs. “I actually believe I do better,” said @thegyp_aus.

He shared that he was told that the dimensions of his current tank make it the “perfect size for reef sharks” and ensures the marine animals have perfect living conditions with regular saltwater changes.

“Jealousy is a curse. However, it brings me a lot of views as the same people who provide negative comments, share the videos and follow my social media so secretly that they can’t wait to see my next video or my last live video” , he told Insider.

Animal welfare advocates are concerned.

“This is a vanity project, having nothing to do with the fish and sharks themselves,” marine mammal scientist Naomi Rose told Insider.

Rose works for an American non-profit organization, the Animal Welfare Institute, and is familiar with public aquariums.

“That’s a lot of fish and sharks in a space that size. Just watching them tilt and turn as they try to swim clearly demonstrates how they are trying to cope with a space that isn’t big enough for them and their swimming habits,” he said. said Rose.

Rose also added that while she refrains from using the word “cruel” as it implies intent, the way @thegyp_aus appears to use her sea animals to shock and impress suggests intent and therefore meets her definition of cruelty.

Since the fish have almost no protection in any jurisdiction, @thegyp_aus’s shark tank would likely be legal in the US, Rose said.

The marine biologist suggests that people stop paying attention to him if they really want him to stop.

“This is not a person who wants to do anything in a vacuum. They want attention. People shouldn’t give it to them, because when they do, the fish suffer,” Rose said.

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