The police officer who shot at a great white in an effort to save a swimmer has gone into hiding fearing a backlash from animal rights activists.

Last week award winning filmmaker Adam Strange was fatally attacked by a great white shark estimated at 14 feet in length off Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. The Sunday Star-Times reports that lifeguards and police rushed to the scene of the attack where they did everything they could to stop the attack.

But it was too late.

It then became a mission to get the shark to leave Strange’s body so it could be recovered. Lifeguards hit at the shark with oars, a helicopter pilot buzzed the area hoping his craft’s downwash would scare the fish, and a police officer shot at the now-confirmed man killer.

That police officer, who has chosen to remain unidentified, now believes that his actions will lead to harassment and ridicule from animal rights activists zealots. Unfortunately, it’s already begun.

In the few days since the attempted rescue (of a human) the officer has been labeled by some on the Internet as “gung ho” and “over-eager.” Some have questioned why he had to use the rifle he did, a M4 Bushmaster rifle. Others, like a commenter on got philosophical, “killing sharks because they killed a person is like draining the ocean because someone drowned.”

It’s a shame that this officer – who, again, was trying to save a human – must face this type of ridicule.

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