Encountering a whale shark

At 2am last night we got a call from our dive guide, Chris, letting us know a whale shark was spotted at the back of our boat. I jumped up and ran to meet him but the shark had already disappeared. Thankfully, another was on his way over but we immediately noticed something was off.

As he got closer we realized a 10 gallon drum had been tied to his tail, tearing at the flesh and nearly ripping it off.

We quickly found a knife and Chris slowly lowered himself into the water, careful not to startle and scare the shark off.

The initial tug of the drum made him thrash in pain but he eventually calmed down and let the rope be cut. Blood poured out of the wound which exposed the fat and cartilage.

If the drum has been left even a few more days he likely would have lost his tail and died. To our luck, instead of leaving he decided to stay and eat the plankton surrounding our lights.

What followed was 45 minutes in the water with this stunning animal. Pic:

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