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`Shark whisperer' works to save endangered species

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 05:40 hrs

Los Angeles, March 29 (IANS/EFE) Ocean Ramsey is a 27-year-old model and scuba instructor who is known for risking her life diving along with white sharks, the largest marine predators, in an effort to preserve this species. She has been dubbed the "shark whisperer".

"I want to contribute to dissipating the irrational fear people have of sharks and get across what their real behaviour and their crucial role in the marine ecosystem is," said Ramsey in an interview with EFE.

"We're exterminating them. Human beings only protect what they love and they only love what they understand. People don't understand sharks. I want to change that," she added.

The Hawaii resident is in her fourth year of these activities, but her mission became known when a YouTube video showing her encounter last October with sharks in the waters off Baja California, Mexico, brought her story to the attention of the media.

Since then, the conservationist has been dubbed the "shark whisperer", a nickname that she doesn't completely care for because she wants to make clear that she is not trying to "train wild animals".

"People don't see sharks like I do. Their view is completely unreal. Their experiences are based on what they see on television or in the movies. It's very easy to demonize them. I travel, study and make an effort to understand their behavior and study how they act," she said.

In the video, one sees Ramsey completely relaxed and without any protection scuba diving and grabbing onto the dorsal fin of the fearsome predators.

Several shark species are in danger of becoming extinct, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that fewer than 400 white sharks remain in the northern Pacific Ocean and no more than 3,500 worldwide.

--IANS/EFE

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