Family Of Divers Save Whale Shark Tangled In Fishing Rope
A family heroically saved a whale shark from death after it got stuck with a rope around its neck. They saw the juvenile creature off the shores of Hawaii and immediately got stuck in to release it.
Kapua Kawelo was out with her husband Jody Rohrer and 15-year-old daughter Ho'ohila for a free-diving session when they encountered the rare, endangered creature - the world's biggest fish.
Despite being initially glad to see it, their excitement soon turned to pity when they noticed the large piece of rope that was strangling the poor thing.
The pair, who work on endangered species for the O'ahu Army Natural Resources Program, immediately set about trying to free the poor animal.
Once they had freed it, Ho'ohila swam the rope - which weighed 150 pounds - back to the shore to make sure no other marine life fell afoul of it.
Rohrer said: "It looked really sore. There were these three scars from where the rope rubbed into the ridges on her back. The rope had cut probably three inches into her pectoral fin."
Yuck, that sounds absolutely rubbish.
Luckily, they had a diving knife to hand, so Rohrer made a few free dives of around two minutes each to get down there and cut loose the rope. After about half an hour, they had accomplished their task.
Because it was freed, and it was a young shark, experts reckon that it will stand a good chance of surviving, which is nice.
Brad Norman, from National Geographic, said: "Although globally, all whale sharks are endangered and threatened with extinction. If we don't reverse the declining trend in their numbers, it's dire for the species as a whole."
"The shark appears to allow the diver to assist, seemingly knowing he's helping."
How lovely. It's nice to see humans and animals getting along with each other sometimes.
Kapua said that her husband was the real hero of the piece after his diving skill and determination allowed them to save the whale shark. She said: "We all wanted to help but none of us could hold our breath that long.
"And we've never seen a whale shark before but, just like native peoples around the world, you feel like you have a special connection to the resources that surround you and your family.
"I like to think that we were there for a reason and that the least we could do for having that amazing experience, seeing that beautiful creature, was to help it survive."
Good going, guys.
Featured Image Credit: Kapua Kawelo