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11/22/2013 12:05 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

Man Hugs Shark And Hitches A Ride In Bora Bora

This guy really went for it.

While snorkeling in Bora Bora with friends, Grant Murdock captured this video of his friend going in for a bear hug with an 8-foot lemon shark.

Murdock, who is from California, has since taken down the YouTube video, presumably because of the outrage on social media regarding the stunt.

In his original YouTube post, Murdock implied that he also caught a ride with a lemon shark, but his ride wasn't captured on video. "I wish somebody was able to record my swim of this nature, but sadly I did not have the presence of mind to record myself doing this same action."

He noted that the sharks, which are known for their pale yellow fins and relatively tame dispositions, "were so gentle and accepting of our advances. They didn't seem to mind at all that we were riding for free."

Remarkably, in the video, even though the rider is just below the shark's mouth, the animal barely reacts and continues swimming slowly through the water.

While lemon sharks can be a threat to humans, only 10 unprovoked attacks have ever been reported, none of them fatal.

Murdock described it as an "out of body experience," but not everyone shares his enthusiasm. When the site Shark Attack News first reported the swim, it asked its readers on social media whether "the growing practice of riding sharks" is going too far. Readers didn't hold back.

"Try grabbing a person in the street and trying that. Sharks aren't here as our personal playthings show them some respect," one wrote.

"It'll be all fun and games," another said, "until one of the sharks ... bites someone and gets killed for it's [sic] trouble."

One commenter asked, "Surely it must be an offence to interfere with wild animals like this?"

It's not. While lemon sharks are listed as "Near Threatened", which means they are likely to enter the threatened category in the near future, it technically isn't illegal to touch or even ride them.

But that doesn't mean it's in the sharks or the rider's best interest.

When a Florida teen made headlines in June for hitching a ride on a whale shark, marine biologist Bruce Neill noted that, “When people spend a lot of time and a lot of pressure on a fish, it takes away that slime covering and potentially has negative health impacts for the fish."

Just imagine what a couple of bear hugs does.

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