A French magazine called “Le magazine des voyages de pêche” published an incredible sounding story in its 56th edition, claiming a fisherman saved a shark and the shark then more or less fell in love with him. Here’s what the magazine had to say:
Arnold Pointer a professional fisherman from south of Australia set free from a certain death a big female White Shark that was caught in his fishing nets. Now the fisherman has a problem: He says: “It’s been 2 years and she doesn’t leave me alone. She follows me everywhere I go and her presence scares all the fishes. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
It is hard to get rid of an almost 17 feet long shark since the White Sharks are protected by the wildlife conservation, but a mutual affection established between Arnold and “Cindy”. Arnold says: “Once I stop the boat she comes to me, she turns on her back and let me pet her belly and neck, she grunts, turn her eyes, and move her fins up and down hitting the water happily …”
If this story sounds incredibly farfetched, it’s because it is. The story of “Cindy” the shark falling in love with Arnold Pointer after he rescued her from a fishing net was an April Fool’s prank from 2006 done by Le Magazine des Voyages de Pêche. It was eventually translated to English, where the story became confused by some as a factual account of a bond between man and shark.
One of the images used several times in the presentation is a photograph of a shark trailing a kayaker that accompanied Scholl and Peschak’s “Shark Detectives” article, published in the September 2005 issue of Africa Geographic magazine. Another image used in the slideshow appeared in the December 2005 “Sharky Shores” article published in the The Big Issue. Other shark photographs can be found in the photo gallery section of Michael Scholl’s White Shark Trust web site.
There was never an Arnold Pointer who rescued a shark, the images originated from Michael School and Thomas Peschak, who are marine biologists specializing in sharks. The sharks in the photos are all different at that, so there’s no depiction of any type of relationship forming at all.