This is the heartwarming moment fishermen rescued a huge whale shark in the Philippines.
The marine mammal – which was bigger than the crew’s boat – was caught in the fishing net in Binmaley, Pangasinan province on May 29.
The trawlers jumped into the water and helped released the giant creature out of their gear until it was able to swim back to the depths.
Resident Christopher Cruz Mabazza said: ‘I live near the shore and saw my neighbours rushing to the water to help the fisherment. The whale was caught in the net and only found out about it as they neared the shallows.’
Municipal Agriculturist Butch Ferrer said the animal might have been attracted to come to the area to feed on small shrimps when it was caught in the net.
He said: ‘This was not the first time that a whale shark wandered into our area. It was a breeding ground for small shrimps which the sharks loved to eat so they come here.’
Whale sharks are classed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to the impacts of fisheries, by-catch losses, and vessel strikes.
More than 50 fishermen and residents helped each other push the whale back into the water. It was unhurt and returned to the sea safely after almost an hour.