On February 18, a local fisherman working off the coast of India, near the village of Sutrapada, spotted a baby whale shark caught in his gillnet. With the help of wildlife officials, the rare whale baby was safely released back into the ocean, according to Wildlife Trust of India.
This video was the fifth recorded encounter with this rare breed by the Whale Shark Conservation project. This fifth rescue is particularly surprising considering how rare it is for scientists to even document these infants.
There have only been 30 whale shark pups, under 3-feet long, that have ever been documented, according to Earth Touch News, which makes this rescue particularly unique. Scientists are studying the presence of this shark in Indian waters. The presence of this endangered animal could mean that they are breeding in the area.
Whale sharks are currently listed on the endangered species list. Scientists believe their population has decreased by more than 60 percent over the last 75 years. Threats from hunters, boats and other dangers combined with the long reproduction cycle put this animal in danger of extinction, according to Life Science.
While some would argue that the sudden appearance of all of these sharks could indicate a sudden increase in population, scientists aren't so sure. They believe that more sightings could be thanks to the fact that more people are paying attention.
You can check out other whale shark sightings the Wildbook for Whale Sharks.