A bunch of beachgoers were filmed swimming close to a huge Southern Right whale in Hobart’s Dervent River.
Hundreds gathered on the beach to watch the gigantic creature at Kingston Beach on Wednesday as the creature splashed around about 200 metres offshore.
Several videos of kayakers and jet skiers seemingly circling around the whale, inside the 100m exclusion zone allowed under Marine Conservation Program, have prompted warnings from conservationists, stating that the people were too close for comfort to the giant mammal.
After photos and videos of the beachgoers swimming as close as one metre from the whale appeared on social media, many netizens criticised them for risking their lives for the sake of taking photos.
“I am absolutely horrified! That is a wild animal that could kill all of those idiots with one blow. What a bunch of morons,” Suzi Ellard wrote.
“Cool seeing a whale but stupid to be that close and stay in water with it!” wrote Rachel McKenzie.
One photographer Ross Smith, took a photo of a group of swimmers approaching the whale.
“It looked like they were patting it, he must have liked it as he kept coming back to the people in the water,” he wrote.