Divers in Indonesia Spark Outrage After Caught on Camera Riding an Endangered Whale Shark


Indonesian authorities are looking into a viral video that shows divers riding a whale shark, a species that is considered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as endangered.

via Wikimedia Commons / Tchami (CC BY S-A 2.0)

The 22-second clip, which was first posted on Twitter by rock band Slank frontman Akhadi “Kaka” Wira Satriaji, shows the divers touching and riding the endangered species as they swim together with the massive yet gentle animal, according to AsiaOne.

Someone informed me that the video [was taken] in Cenderawasih Bay [National Park],” Kaka wrote, tagging Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

Pudjiastuti then replied to the tweet saying that the careless action is prohibited and that they would investigate the incident and try to identify the people doing “this shameful recreation.”

Bakar echoed the same sentiments, telling Kompas that her office is now investigating the viral video and admitted they do not know the people in the clip.

The national park, which is located in Nabire, Papua Province, Indonesia, also replied to Kaka’s post on Twitter stating that they always accompany visitors who want to interact with whale sharks in their natural habitat and brief them before diving.

In the guide, the park states that visitors should not touch the whale sharks or actively chase them. Divers were also informed to never make loud noises that could annoy the fish.

Featured Image via Twitter / fishGOD

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