Cody Garland took a swim with a 25-foot-long whale shark off the coast of Destin, Fla., while his friends egged him on. What Garland and his friends either didn’t know or didn’t care about was the fact that whale sharks are endangered animals.
This species of shark is considered the gentle giant of the ocean. It’s docile and mostly indifferent to the presence of humans. That doesn’t change the fact that whale sharks are still sharks—potentially dangerous and quite deserving of our respect given their endangered status. Yet Garland’s behavior ignored all of these facts.
The video is an excellent demonstration of how not to behave near endangered animals. The Mirror reports that it remains unclear whether Garland will face any legal repercussions for his tomfoolery.