Slideshow presentation claims that a friendly and thankful Great White Shark constantly follows a fisherman who once saved its life and the two have formed a “mutual affection”.
The claims in the message are untrue. The story was published several years ago in a French magazine as an April Fools joke.
Subject: A Sharks Love for Man – This is AMAZING
The French Magazine “Le magazine des voyages de pêche” in its 56th edition, brought up an amazing news: An astonishing love story.
“Arnold Pointer a professional fisherman from south of Australia set free from a certain death a big female White Shark that was caught in his fishing nets. Now the fisherman has a problem: He says: “It’s been 2 years and she doesn’t leave me alone. She follows me everywhere I go and her presence scares all the fishes. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
It is hard to get rid of an almost 17 feet long shark since the White Sharks are protected by the wildlife conservation, but a mutual affection established between Arnold and “Cindy”.
Arnold Says: “Once I stop the boat she comes to me, she turns on her back and let me pet her belly and neck, she grunts, turn her eyes, and move her fins up and down hitting the water happilly…”
According to a slideshow presentation currently circulating via email and online, Arnold Pointer, an Australian fisherman, won the affection of a huge Great White Shark that he once saved from certain death. The slideshow claims that ever since the fisherman rescued the shark from his fishing nets, it has followed him around whenever possible and the two have formed a mutual affection. This absurd and fanciful tale would have us believe that the grateful fish, dubbed “Cindy”,
has formed a strong attachment to the man and even enjoys having her belly and neck rubbed.
A number of compelling photographs, supposedly showing the interaction between the shark and the fisherman, are included in the presentation.
However, the story is entirely untrue. I contacted “Le magazine des voyages de pêche”, the French publication mentioned in the message, to enquire about the origin of the story. According to a spokesperson from the magazine, the “Shark Love Story” was published in the magazine in 2006 as an April Fools joke.
Apparently, the joke story escaped the confines of the magazine and began circulating, first in French and later in the English version included here.
In fact, all the photographs used in the presentation were taken by South African marine biologists and shark experts, Michael C. Scholl and Thomas P. Peschak and have nothing whatsoever to do with an affectionate shark and a kind Australian fisherman.
The first photograph of a man in a kayak being followed by a shark was featured in the September 2005 issue of Africa Geographic. The kayaker photograph has become quite famous and began circulating in an entirely different context long before this slideshow made its appearance.
Other photographs in the slideshow are included on the White Shark Trust website and in other publications. Not all the featured photographs depict the same shark. And, although the man does reach out and touch a shark in some of the photographs, this is simply a situational action and should not be misconstrued as some manner of mutual affection.