Whale shark rescued from freshwater canal


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A Whale shark that swam into a freshwater canal in Taiwan has been returned to the sea by rescuers.

According to a report from the Taipei Times, the 3m/10' juvenile Whale shark, Rhincodon typus, was spotted yesterday morning in the Tainan Canal after entering via the fishing port of Anping.

The China Post said that large crowds of spectators had gathered to see the stricken fish within hours, and by early afternoon efforts were underway to return the fish to the sea.

Fire officers and conservationists used a lifeboat to navigate the canal and eventually used a net to guide the giant fish back out to sea.

The Whale shark, which feeds mainly upon small invertebrates via filter-feeding, is believed to have followed prey shrimp or fish up the canal from the sea.

The incident is the first recorded in the 90-year history of the canal.

Whale sharks, the world's largest fish species, can reach lengths of up to 20m and weigh up to 34,000 kg.

The species is protected on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.