The video brought out mixed reactions and responses. Many referred to his actions as "foolish" and some even said it was downright cruel.
We see a lot of viral videos, some of which are funny and others might be bizarre or adventurous. Recently, a shocking video went viral after a man jumped into the sea to sit on a whale shark in the city of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
According to the Daily Mail, Zaki Al-sabahy, a Saudi stuntman jumped onto the water and attempted to ride with a whale shark by clinging on its dorsal fin. The footage showed the man sitting on the bow of a yacht, waiting for the sharks to swim close by. As the mammal neared the boat and swam below the boat, the adventurous man jumped into the water and caught up with the animal. He caught a grip of the animal and landed on the back of the shark. Whale sharks are filter-feeding large fish and are rarely seen in the Red Sea.
Man jumps on top of endangered whale shark in the Red Sea https://t.co/HiLVicQq9X— mohamed elhadari (@mohamedelhadari) August 18, 2020
The footage showed the man riding with the endangered species while his friends cheered him and asked him to be careful. In the footage, one of his friends is heard saying, "Careful, it can swallow you."
The footage was later uploaded by Al-sabahy on social media. The video caught the attention of many in the region but people were divided. While he was hailed as a brave and courageous man by some, others thought he was just careless. One wrote, "A brave man, God saves him." Some were so motivated by the man that they wanted to try it out. Many credited his strength to ride with the mammal.
Others critical of him and his actions called him out. They labeled his actions "stupid" and "cruel". "Stupidity at its best," wrote one on Facebook. Another tweeted, "What the heck is wrong with people!! They're all going crazy. Why can't they leave wildlife alone.."
Some even pointed out that it would have been better if they took pictures of the mammal and appreciated it than terrifying it by riding it. "You could just catch some camera shots and appreciate the beauty of animals & nature. Nature doesn't always have to center on stupid humans," wrote one Twitter user.
Macho man with nil for brains!— StarMan (@StarMan92062292) August 20, 2020
Many wanted him to get arrested. One wrote, "I hope they will be arrested and held accountable for their reckless behavior." Another supported the comment and responded, "I fully agree, they must be held accountable. One day you get an idiot standing on the back of a turtle while it's laying its eggs, then the next day you get this guy standing on a whale passing peacefully by and terrifying it. They are destroying nature."
No harm done, all the snowflakes jumping on the band waggon i see 😂 #sharksurfing— Karl Christopher (@Christopher3_4) August 18, 2020
Other displeased viewers even went to the extent of saying something fatal should have happened to him. Some pointed out how his careless behavior might have frightened the animal. More so, the video comes at a time when scientists and conservationists have discouraged the practice of riding these rare mammals.
Despite these warnings, such videos have made it's way to social media, according to Daily Mail. The mammal has been categorized as "endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. This was mainly due to the impact caused due to by-catch losses and vessel strikes, fisheries and also the late maturation and long lifespan of the animal. Meanwhile, these large animals are not dangerous. Infact, the younger whale sharks play with scuba divers.