CARACAS, Venezuela, June 22 (UPI) -- Conservationists are calling for the prosecution of two men "surfing" on the back of a protected whale shark in a video believed to have been recorded in Venezuela.
The London-based Marine Connection wildlife group shared a video on Facebook that officials said was initially posted online in Venezuela before being taken down. The group said the clip is believed to have been shot in Venezuela due to the form of Spanish being spoken by the men in the footage.
"Wildlife harassment is never a laughing matter," Marine Connection said in the Facebook post.
"Unbelievable footage of individuals 'surfing' a whale shark. What a sad reflection on their attitude to wildlife when, instead of considering themselves fortunate to see this majestic creature in the wild, they choose to participate in a stupid stunt like this (wonder if they would have done this with a great white shark?).
As whale sharks are protected -- the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List of Threatened Species lists the whale shark as vulnerable -- these guys should be charged -- come on FB community, please help bring these people to justice for their stupidity and arrogance treating a protected species in this way. If anyone has any information on this incident, please message us. Please share widely."