Wildlife conservatives have taken to social media after a shocking video emerged on Youtube of two men surfing a rare white whale shark. Wildlife campaigners and the general public are calling the video horrific as they urge the authorities to charge the surfing criminals.
Social Media Outcry Over Whale Shark Surfers
The video was originally posted last week by a Facebook user in Venezuela, who has since deactivated the account. For just under 3 minutes, it shows two men standing on the animal’s back holding a rope attached to a speedboat. As the boat speeds up, the men repeatedly fall and get back up to attempt the stunt again. A crowd gathered off camera encourages the men in Spanish. Meanwhile, the large creature swims right below the surface of the water.
The footage that has been labeled shocking by animal lovers has been shared over all social media platforms, garnering over 250,000 views and much attention from social media users who have condemned the men and their actions.
The disgusted public has also called for the two men to be brought to justice. The whale shark is on the red-list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Because of their protected status, many people believe the men should be charged for wildlife harassment, while others simply believe the men should be locked away for their stupidity and arrogance.
The Whale Shark is a Protected Species, Not a Surfboard
Some users have pointed out that the whale shark doesn’t appear bothered during the video. People have even argued that the animal was encouraging the men by continuously swimming up to the boat and allowing them to stand on its back. However, animal lovers have come to the defense of the docile giant saying the protected species should be respected and not ridden.
Though under horrible circumstances, the public outcry has benefited the whale sharks by bringing more exposure to their status as a vulnerable species.
Authorities have not yet made an official statement regarding whether the men will be charged. However, if you have any information that can help ensure the whale shark’s welfare, please contact Marine Connection.