The juvenile that Dr Dove is talking about is a neonatal whale shark which, thanks to the work of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), is now swimming free.
The whale shark pup was caught in a gillnet near the fishing village of Sutrapada on India’s west coast. Fortunately many fishermen are willing to cut their nets to free them.
Along with the Gujarat Forest Department, WTI has been working with Gujarati fishermen to monitor whale shark populations.
What the baby whale shark go free:
“The recorded presence of neonatal whale sharks in the Gujarat coastal waters is significant, in that it supports the proposition that the Arabian Sea may be a breeding territory for whale sharks,” the team explains.
Only about 30 whale shark pups under a metre long have ever been documented, which makes this rescue all the more exciting.
Others have been spotted elsewhere as well, like this little guy cruising past a boat at Huvadhoo Atoll in the Maldives: