Swimmer Caught Riding a Whale Hours Before It Was Found Dead

the daily dish More on PawNation: Fish and Marine, Sad, The Dish, Whales
Up-close animal experiences can be amazing, but it is always important to maintain a relationship of respect. According to the Daily Mail U.K., that respect for animals was not practiced by an unidentified swimmer spotted riding a weak sperm whale in Pompano Beach, Florida, hours before the endangered animal was found dead.

A federal investigation has been launched to look into the whale death. A videotape shows an individual repeatedly climbing onto a whale that was drifting near the beach. Experts are unsure of the cause of the whale's death, but believe the human rider was not the main factor. Instead, it is believed that the animal was dying before this encounter, which is why it was so close to the shore. Regardless, the free-riding swimmer is not cleared of all responsibility. It is a federal offense to harass a marine mammal. Additionally, sperm whales are an endangered species, putting the rider into potentially more trouble.

"This type of harassment could have caused more harm and added stress to an already stressed whale and ultimately cause its demise," Blair Mase, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's southeast regional stranding coordinator told NBC Miami.

Onlookers said the whale appeared to be struggling, fighting the rip tide with its fins. A rescue team was sent out to check on the sperm whale, but little could be done by the time they arrived. The whale washed ashore, deceased, soon after, and it was then towed out to sea so a necropsy could be preformed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are waiting for the necessary approval from the NOAA to launch a criminal investigation into the unknown whale rider.

Rare White Humpback Whale "Moby Dick" Sighting

Who is Cutest?

Like us on Facebook?