A photo of a girl using a whale shark as a surf board caused outrage in the Filipino community after it was posted to Facebook.
While the photo was posted last year, it only recently gained attention from social media users.
The photo’s caption suggests that the picture was taken in Oslob, but the local mayor has denied the association.
“This photo is definitely not from Oslob,” Ronal Guarin told reporters.
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Endmungo Arregadas, regional head of the local coastal marine management division, said he discouraged the practice and any association with the whale sharks because it could upset their natural way of life.
Arregadas also expressed fears of the white sharks getting hit by oncoming boats or poachers.