Robert Redford made horse whisperers famous in the 1998 movie "The Horse Whisperer," and Cesar Milan has trained dogs around the world in his TV show "The Dog Whisperer," but have you heard of the shark whisperer?
Her name is Ocean Ramsey and newly released video shows that the Hawaii-based shark conservationist might have that special touch when it comes to showing a different side of one of nature's most-feared beasts.
"It's really hard to describe what it's like to actually have a great white swimming towards you or next to you," Ramsey said. "It's really breathtaking."
Ramsey, a professional scuba instructor, surfer and advanced free diver, released a YouTube video titled "A Blonde and a Great White Shark" on Valentine's Day that shows her swimming in the ocean alongside a shark, even touching its skin with her bare hand and holding on to its fin.
"They are really cautious and calculated," Ramsey said. "You know, it's misunderstood and misconstrued as these ravenous mindless man-eating machines.
"That's not how they are," said Ramsey, who wrote in a blog post about the video that she grew up "surfing and diving in Hawaii and San Diego."
In California last week, the state's Fish and Game Commission voted to consider a petition to classify the great white shark an endangered species. Experts estimate there are fewer than 350 of the animals left along the Pacific coast.
That is why Ramsey and her photographer, Juan Oliphant, went to such great lengths to make the jaw-dropping video available to the public.
"The biggest thing for me is to nail the shot," Oliphant said. "Here's this beautiful shark and this graceful diver swimming along in perfect harmony with each other."
- Living Nature
- Cesar Milan
- Robert Redford