A helpless shark died when it was pulled from the sea so lifeguards and tourists could pose for pictures with the beached animal. In footage recorded and then uploaded to YouTube by holidaymakers the shark can be seen writhing in agony as it wriggled then died.

The video shows nine excited young men race into the Caribbean Sea to grab the shark by its tail before dragging it out of the surf and onto the sand. The gang seemed to include lifeguards from the nearby Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

In the process, the shark panics after becoming tangled in a life ring desperately trying to get back to the water whilst the men pull at it. They then put the life ring over the shark's head and tease it with a wooden plank.

In a series of posts to social media smiling lifeguards can be seen leaning over the 8ft dying shark posing with their thumbs up. In other pictures, children are seen with the animal.

A Hard Rock Hotel spokeswoman Stacy Sorino said to The Dodo that "corrective measures" are being taken against the employees involved. She said: "That is absolutely against our standards of protecting animals as we protect our guests."

In February, this year naturists reacted angrily after a baby dolphin died after being pulled from the sea in Santa Teresita, Argentina and passed around a group of beachgoers. The dolphin was passed around for people to take selfies with it.

Shark dead
The lifeguards were enjoying themselves with the shark as it lay dying Facebook / Gary Stokes

According to reports, the dolphin subsequently overheated and died due to being out of its natural habitat for too long. A video later showed a group of people then discarding its body onto sand nearby.

Just four days later footage was published online of a man dragging a shark from the sea in order to get a selfie with it. The brutal incident, which occurred on Palm Beach in Florida, was filmed by WPTV journalist Ashleigh Walters.

dead shark
People were posing with the shark as it lay dying Facebook / Gary Stokes