What’s that in the pool? Oh, just a baby whale shark.
So, this particular fish has had an adventure recently worthy of a Pixar film.
The video below is of a 1.5-foot baby whale shark, swimming in a saltwater pool at Ganhei Island Resort in the Maldives. How it got there is quite the story.
First off, according to local reports, a whale shark this young (and therefore this small) has never been spotted in the Maldives before, so it’s kind of a big deal that it was there in the first place. The shark had been spotted by employees at the resort, who were using nets to collect trash from a local bay, that can attract predators dangerous to swimmers.
And that’s as far as environmentally responsible behavior went. They hand-caught the shark, and transported it via holding tank to the hotel pool. There it was released, and video and photos were put on social media.
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Naturally, several local environmental groups cried bloody murder, prompting the animal to be removed from the pool. The employees then attempted to sell the animal to a competing resort on a nearby island.
The other resort owner instead paid them to release it, which they then reportedly did. In the meantime, they named it Noomaa, which in the local language, means “Blue Flower.”
The story does, in fact, end well. Before being released, the shark was cataloged in a Maldives database as WS217. Scientists will be able to identify the shark as it gets older, assuming it returns to the area.
Although, our guess is this: if the shark has any sense, it will stay far away until it’s too big to fit in swimming pools.