Video: Man blasted for 'riding' a whale shark

AOL Travel

A man has been blasted by animal activists for 'riding' a whale shark while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chris Kreis, 19, was fishing with friends around 30 miles off the coast of Captiva Island when they saw the 50,000lb, 30ft long whale shark.

Chris decided to jump off the boat and grab on to its fin and hitch a ride, before returning to his friends.

According to the Mirror, he told the NBC2 TV station: "When I started holding on I felt the whale shark, it started moving itself, it felt the drag and it didn't really want me on there so I let go and that's it."

According to, marine biologist Bruce Neill said, although it wasn't illegal, it wasn't a good move, telling NBC2: "When people spend a lot of time and [put] a lot of pressure on a fish it takes away that slime covering and potentially has negative health impacts for the fish.

He added that the whale could also be harmful to humans, saying: "Because they are so very large, they could inflict some harm inadvertently."

The footage was uploaded to YouTube, and users were quick to criticise it, with one writing: "Stupid boy. Hope the next REAL shark get's him!"

Another wrote: "Whale sharks are not taxis. Kids will do anything for some fame."

Back in October 2012, a woman was arrested after riding a manatee off the Florida coast. Ana Gutierrez, 52, was spotted touching and climbing on top of the manatee at For De Soto Park, near the city of St Petersburg.

Florida State Statute says: "In the state of Florida it is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee."

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