AN angler was stunned when animal rights activists grabbed a freshly caught fish and threw it back in the river.
A group of seven activists targeted the fisherman over a 4 lb. tilapia fish which he had caught for a family dinner.
They confronted Mr Bob Hope while he was fishing with his family at Crescent Lake, St Petersburg, Florida.
Without warning members of the Direct Action Everywhere group crept up, grabbed the fish and threw it back in the water while shouting:
“You know fish feel pain, and you’re hurting that fish”.
Mr Hope called the police straight after an incident.
He said: “I didn’t want to return any sort of violence with violence.
“The confrontation was harassment, not a protest. My family left the lake after the incident and fished in another location.
“That fish was an invasive tilapia. They’re destroying the ecosystem and killing our bass population.”
The family also video-recorded the incident and later shared it on the social media.
Mr Hope wrote: “We were suddenly ambushed and harassed by these nut jobs. They literally pushed my mothers leg and stole the fish and threw it into the water.”
The protesters opposed the claim stating: “Fish feel pain, just like us. It’s not food, it’s violence”.
The activists who confronted Hope’s family are believed to connected to the Direct Action Everywhere animal rights group which earlier claimed responsibility for attacking Chick-Fil-A restaurant less than 10 miles away from the lake.
Kayla Leaming, a spokeswoman for Direct Action Everywhere said:
“If this animal was a dog or a cat, we would be labelled heroes, but because we saved a fish, everybody is trying to make us out to be monsters.”
Police say by the time they showed up everyone was leaving and there was no reason to make any arrest.