Whale shark sighting in Rockingham as swimmers treated to rare encounter
Swimmers in Rockingham were lucky enough to have had a rare encounter with a whale shark this afternoon.
The six-metre sea creature was spotted swimming in Cockburn Sound, with Rockingham Wildlife Encounters saying they have never experienced anything like it.
“Never has this occurred in over 30 years of operating! Seeing a whale shark as far south as Rockingham is as amazing as it gets,” the tour company said in a Facebook post.
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The whale shark — which is the largest fish in the world — usually inhabits waters over 1000 kilometres north in Ningaloo, making this a very rare sighting for swimmers.
“There is nothing more wild and free than experiencing breathtaking encounters, and to be part of unscripted events like these,” Rockingham Wildlife Encounters said.
Research Fellow at Murdoch University Dr Brad Norman said whale while sharks are WA’s official marine emblem, there is still so much to discover about them.
“It’s very unusual to have whale sharks so far south — but our previous satellite tagging program of whale sharks did track a couple as far as Rottnest,” Dr Norman said.
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