Injured whale shark swims up to boat for help in southern Thailand

National park officials in Krabi province, southern Thailand, are searching for an injured whale shark in need of urgent medical assistance.

Yesterday, a six-metre long whale shark swam to the surface to visit a longtail boat near Koh Hong island located inside Than Bok Khorani National Park in Krabi’s Mueang district.

As cold-blooded whale sharks rarely venture out of deep water, tourists were overjoyed by the shark’s unlikely visit.

However, as the shark swam underneath the boat, the longtail boat driver noticed that a large piece of rope – which looked like trawling net – was tightly wrapped around the whale shark’s tail.

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The rope cut deep into the shark’s flesh, leaving a deep wound, said the boat driver. After around 10 minutes, the injured whale shark swam away.

The longtail boat driver says he believes the whale shark swam up to the boat because it needs urgent help.

Today, national park officials searched for the injured whale shark around Hong Island and elsewhere in Phang Nga Bay to no avail.

Chief of Than Bok Khorani National Park, Weerasak Srisatchang, said that national park staff are searching continuously in order to help free the whale shark from the rope and treat its injuries.

Currently, the whale shark is the only shark species listed as a protected species in Thailand.

Just two weeks ago, a four-metre-long whale shark visited a group of tourists on a snorkelling trip to Koh Klum island, near Koh Chang, in Trat province, in another rare sighting.

In September, a pair of whale sharks were spotted at a dive spot in deeper waters off the coast of Koh Pha Ngan.

In August, a dead whale shark washed up on Long Beach on Koh Lanta island in Krabi province. Officials said it had never happened before in the province.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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