Man sits on a dead whale in the middle of shark feeding frenzy
An Australian man has been photographed sitting on a dead whale while it was being eaten by tiger sharks in an attempt to dispel myths about the predators. Now, is either him is God or him want to meet him.
Leon Deschamps, 32, said he wants to show that the sharks are not merely blood thirsty killing machines and was prepared to put his own life at risk to prove it.
The conservationist from Shark Bay in Western Australia - said people perceive all sharks to be the same and that tiger sharks are victims as a result.
"We fear tiger sharks because we do not understand them," he said.
"They are lumped into the same group as great whites and bull sharks, just because they are a type of shark, but their feeding and predation habits are completely different.
"We must be more species specific when we talk about sharks.
I want to bring the animals into the public arena, educate people so that they know they are not blood thirsty killing machines.
"Tiger sharks are not constantly aggressive. And now people can see that, after I threw myself into the middle of a feeding frenzy.
He added: "Feeding is a time when they are supposed to be at their most ferocious. But I think they quite enjoyed me stroking their noses.
"They are like a pet dog. You can share beautiful, incredible interaction with them, but if you do not show them respect, even a pit bull can rip you to shreds.
Deschamps insists the stunt was spur of the moment and strongly warns people not to attempt the same feat.
He said: "I heard about the whale carcass from fishermen coming back to shore.
"Me and some friends travelled through the night on a Catamaran and arrived early the next day. We were the first to arrive and saw the sharks in a eating frenzy.
"It was totally spur of the moment but I knew it was incredibly safe. It was because it was not a planned event that made it so special.
"You must remember the whale was grounded, beached in about one metre of water. I was stable. Great whites can jump and will do so to get their prey. Tiger sharks don't.
"It was the safest time I would ever get to touch these animals during feeding.
"I wasn't scared because I have educated myself about the animal.
"It was an amazing experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity and wild horses would not have stopped me from doing it."
A spokesman for Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation warned that touching whales was illegal and people were not to interfere with sharks because of the risk of attack.
He said of the stunt: “This is highly irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and puts people’s lives at risk.”