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

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

National park officials in southern Thailand's Krabi province are looking for an injured whale shark that needs urgent medical attention.

Yesterday, a six-meter whale shark swam to the surface to visit a long-tailed boat near Koh Khong Island, located in the Tan Bok Horani National Park in Krabi Muang.

Because cold-blooded whale sharks rarely come out of the deep, tourists were thrilled by the shark's unlikely visit.

However, as the shark swam under the boat, the long-tailed driver noticed that a large piece of rope, similar to a trawl net, was wrapped tightly around the whale shark's tail.

According to the boat driver, the rope cut deep into the shark's flesh, leaving a deep wound. After about 10 minutes, the wounded whale shark swam away.

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

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

Tan Bok Horani National Park chief Weerasak Srisatchang said national park officials are constantly looking to help free the whale shark from its 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 4-meter-long whale shark visited a group of tourists while snorkeling on Koh Klum, near Koh Chang, in Trat province, in another rare sighting.

In September, a pair of whale sharks were spotted diving in deeper waters off the coast of Koh Phangan.

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