Heroic dolphins team up to save mother whale and calf from male humpbacks

Jaimie-lee Prince
Aug 23, 2018
11:26 A.M.
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Five male whales competed for the attention of a female whale who was traveling with her young calf in the waters of Flinders Bay on Western Australia's southwest coast.


Spirit, a humpback whale, was swimming with her calf Sunny near the boat of Whale Watch Western Australian members. They posted a video of the awe-inspiring incident to YouTube. They explained that Spirit and Sunny were put in a precarious spot when the males engaged in a mating competition.

Daily Mail reported that the resulting risk of separation between Spirit and her calf could have led to Sunny's death. So Spirit did all she could to fend off the males. At one point, she goes slightly into the boat's hull where the males would not be able to go.

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The breathtaking scene went on for an extended time with Sunny and Spirit being chased for about 40 minutes. After that, 10 to 15 bottlenose dolphins entered the waters.

The dolphins formed a protective circle around Spirit and her calf. One was even caught flashing its teeth aggressively so as to deter the male whales from sticking around.


Spirit then swam closer to the vessel, an act that left Whale Watch WA members feeling honored at being useful to the elegant whale and her calf in their time of peril.

Spirit coaxed Sunny to swim on her back as they continued avoiding the males.

Eventually, all of the male humpbacks but one left the surrounding waters of the boat. The remaining male could then safely escort and protect the pair as he fended off smaller whales.


On their channel, the Whale Watcher WA members referred to the occurrence as "truly remarkable," pointing out the lengths that a humpback mother would go to in defense of her calf. They called it "a true once in a lifetime experience."

Californian whale lovers also got the rare chance to save the life of a humpback whale who was tangled in fishing nets. In 2011, Michael Fishback and his crew rescued a young humpback when they noticed it was still alive and bleeding.

And higher up north in Canada, more humpback whales put on a show for staff and guests of the Great Bear Lodge in early August 2018. The event happened early in the morning but everyone rushed down to see and record the breath-taking occurrence.

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