An 18-month long investigation. A bust. The discovery of illegal goods. It wasn’t a drug sting or a gun-running operation bust. It was the rescue of two whale sharks, which were being held illegally in underwater cages off the coast of an island in eastern Indonesia.
The 12-foot long sharks, which may grow to be the size of a school bus, were immediately released into the ocean. They were lucky—an investigation from the Wildlife Conservation Society, a New York-based nonprofit that assisted Indonesian authorities with the raid, found that the pair were likely destined for the illegal wildlife trade either in China or somewhere else in Southeast Asia.
China in particular has a track record with whale sharks. In 2013,