By Jamie Smith
Shocking footage has emerged of a man swimming dangerously close to two southern right whales
In the clip, the daredevil can be seen swimming out to the whales, and he even touches one of them.
The whale can be seen lifting its head after being prodded but then proceeds to circle the swimmer.
Harassing whales in the wild is an illegal offence under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as it is seen as harmful to the animals.
Tour operator Graeme Grant, 47, from Cape Town, captured the images after spotting the swimmer floating dangerously close to the whales.
Graeme said: “I spotted four active whales in a group in the middle of the bay.
“After watching for a while they split up and two whales moved into the bay and came very close to the shoreline.
“The whales were chasing each other around and then they started circling each other, close to the rocks and a public footpath.
“We then saw a man in the water, and I couldn’t believe it when he actually touched one of the whales.
“One slap of a fin would swat him like a fly.
“Amazingly, the whales both just circled him, and moved away.
“What the swimmer did was foolish, as well as dangerous and illegal, and I hate to see harassment of whales, so I can’t endorse his actions in any way.
“However it was amazing to see the interaction, and astounding that he didn’t get hurt.”