This is the incredible moment fishermen are filmed feeding and even managing to stroke an endangered whale shark.
The video was reportedly recorded from a fishing platform in the town of Bongawan in the West Coast Division of the state of Sabah in Malaysia and posted onto social media.
In the video, the fishermen can be seen throwing food, reportedly prawns, to the huge whale shark which has swum up to the platform.
One of the fishermen can be seen touching the endangered shark and laughing as it feeds.
The Director of the Sabah Fisheries Department, Ahemad Sade, said despite the fact that the men didn’t seem to be doing any harm, it was forbidden to feed or in any way disturb the protected animal, and an investigation had been launched into the sighting, with the department working to establish the exact location the video was recorded.
An official from the department said that sightings of whale sharks in the area were not rare but underlined that feeding, handling or catching the animals is prohibited as it is a protected species in the state’s fisheries laws.
The whale shark is the largest known extant fish species and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List due to the impacts of fisheries, by-catch losses, and vessel strikes, combined with its long lifespan and late maturation.
The shark does not pose any danger to humans and is listed as a docile, filter-feeding fish.