A group of beachgoers at Tasmania's Kingston Beach were left in awe after a gigantic Southern Right whale made an appearance just off the shore!
Whale Spotting in Tasmania
A group of beachgoers at Tasmania’s Kingston Beach were awestruck. This took place when a gigantic Southern Right whale made an appearance just off the shore on Wednesday morning. But videos of kayakers and jet skiers seemingly circling around the whale have prompted warnings from conservationists who said the people were too close for comfort to the giant mammal.
The creature’s spotting was effective when it was swimming about 200 meters from the shore. Meanwhile with many people swimming dangerously close to it, breaching the 100-meter no-go zone set up by Australia’s Marine Conservation Program. According to Michael Boon, one of the kayakers in the water, the whale came as close as one meter from the people a few times and there were about 25 people in the water.
“There were a couple of occasions I thought it might bump us. It stayed in the bay for 6 or more hours,” he told NDTV.
After several videos appeared to show beachgoers approaching the whale, many on social media criticised them for risking their lives for the sake of taking photos.
On Michael Boon’s Facebook page, where he posted several videos, people called the swimmers “ignorant” for being so close to the animal.
“Cool seeing a whale but stupid to be that close and stay in water with it!” wrote Rachel McKenzie.
“If you’re one of the kayakers on Crayfish Point this evening 7pm-ish. And chasing the whale from 10m behind in a big group, I hope you read this: You should be bloody shameful of yourselves!!!” Mani Baker writes on Whale Spotting Tasmania’s Facebook page.
Following the anger on social media, Mr Boon came to the swimmers’ defence on Facebook.
“These swimmers did not approach within about 50m. They did not trap it, encircle it, harass it, or any of the other things you might be dangerous. I’ll say upfront that I was on a kayak and paddling to less than 100m (though still more than 50m) from the whale, and that was in breach of the guidelines. Maybe we were lucky in this case, but this whale didn’t seem to be any disturbance. It swam to us and to the swimmers. On a couple of occasions it stopped by us and just lay there, presumably having a good look at us,”. He explains on the Spotting Tasmania’s Facebook page.
Experts, however, said the it wasn’t in distress and in good condition.
“It is simply having a rest, and photos I have seen [show] that it is healthy … and should not be disturbed,” Parks officer Kris Carlyon told ABC.
An advisory also came to an issue by Tasmania Police about on their Facebook page. Soon after people shed light on videos of the whale splashing around.