Malaysia Animal Association president lauds fishermen who freed whale shark caught in rope in Bintulu waters (VIDEO)

The quick-thinking fishermen used a cleaver to severe the rope. — Screengrab from Facebook/Malaysia Animal Association
The quick-thinking fishermen used a cleaver to severe the rope. — Screengrab from Facebook/Malaysia Animal Association

PETALING JAYA, Dec 3 — The incredible footage of a whale shark swimming up to a boat seeking help after it was caught in a rope in the coast of Bintulu, Sarawak has been winning hearts on social media since Sunday.

The clip, which was posted on Sunday captures a majestic whale shark slowly approaching the vessel with a yellow rope caught around its body.

According to Malaysia Animal Association president Arie Dwi Andika, three Sarawakian fishermen were on board the boat at the right and time when the large marine fish swam towards them appearing to ask for help.

“We are so proud of Malaysians who helped the whale shark.

“It’s so hard these days to get honest people to help animals in need,” Arie told Malay Mail.

He added that the group of friends who assisted the whale shark was a shining example for all Malaysians.

“All Malaysians should take a page out of the fishermen’s book to not just help marine life but all animals,” Arie urged.

Whale sharks, he said, are not seldom seen in our waters.

As the gentle giant waited patiently, the fishermen on board can be heard devising a plan to free the fish.

“It’s asking for help,” one man can be heard saying in the clip that lasted just under two minutes

A hook was then used to lift the rope closer while a fisherman severed the rope with a cleaver.

As it was freed, the men on board could be heard bidding the whale shark goodbye.

The whale shark then adorably swished its tail several times, seemingly thanking the fishermen who came to its rescue.

The heart-warming clip of a helpless sea creature cleverly asking for help and quick-thinking fishermen who were at the right place and the right time has been viewed 289,000 times since it was posted on the Malaysia Animal Association’s Facebook page.

The endearing encounter prompted a flood of well wishes and praises for the kind fishermen.

Known to grow up to 18.8 meters, whale sharks (Rhinodon typus) are the world’s largest fish and are typically found in tropical waters across the globe.

In June this year, a pair of orcas were spotted in Terengganu for the first time, off Kerteh, much to the amusement of animal lovers and Malaysians alike.

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