With all of the horrific and evil acts that happen in this world, many of which make us lose faith in humanity, sometimes it can be difficult to remember that there is just as much good to be found. One Russian scuba-diving tourist proved just that when he bargained to save a baby whale sharks’ life in Ambon, Indonesia. The kind tourist came across a fisherman on the beach who had captured the baby whale shark most likely with the intention to sell it.
Recognizing the animal for the intelligent and innocent creature it is, the tourist frantically found an interpreter to assist him in negotiating for the whale sharks release.
The fisherman finally agreed to let the whale shark go for one million rupiah – the equivalent of $75.
Check out the whole interaction, in this video:
Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish and are classified as an endangered species by the ICUN Red List of Threatened species. However despite this fact, they are still commonly targeted by poachers for their meat, fins – used to make shark fin soup – and oil, which has caused their population to decrease by 50 percent in the last 75 years. Fortunately. this compassionate tourist was able to see the beauty in this incredible creature that the fisherman couldn’t.
While this case is certainly a victory for whale sharks, fishermen aren’t the only threat targeting whale sharks. The illegal wildlife trade is rife in Indonesia and whale sharks, among other animals like mantas and dolphins, are often captured and exploited for the entertainment industry. These illegal trades contribute to the fast decline of animal populations, and overall, human actions are thought to have caused the overall rate of extinction to increase 1000 times above what it should be. This makes it all the more imperative to support wildlife conservation groups and never support ocean theme parks of places like Sea world.
To help protect wild marine animals in need, click here.
All image source: Andrea Etsy/Youtube