Lonely whale shark pat

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

PORT Dou­glas recre­ational fish­er­man Paul Wood­bridge and his mates had a sur­prise visi­tor re­cently when a whale shark swam up to their boat for a play­ful en­counter.

Mr Wood­bridge was just north of Chi­na­man’s Reef head­ing to­wards Opal Reef when the in­quis­i­tive whale shark made a bee­line for them.

“We were just sound­ing around when it swam right up to the boat,” he said.

“It was very in­quis­i­tive and was lik­ing the leg of the mo­tor and sat around for about 15 min­utes.

“It was happy for us to pat it and seemed a bit lonely - it didn’t want us to leave and fol­lowed us as we drove off.”

Whale shark en­coun­ters such as this as con­sid­ered rare and Mr Wood­bridge said it was the first time he had seen one in his two-and-ahalf years fish­ing on the reef.

Photo PAUL WOOD­BRIDGE

MAK­ING FRIENDS: the whale shark swims up to

the boat

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