Video footage shows whale's surprising behavior after being rescued
As humans, our ability to communicate with animals is limited at best. Despite our best efforts to help them, they can have a funny way of showing their appreciation.
Weighed down by a 3000-pound anchor and tight binding ropes set as traps by poachers, a humpback whale was spotted by crab fishermen in the middle of the sea, who immediately reported the matter to the Marine Mammal Center.
According to an Uplifting Today report, among the divers was a man named James Moskito, who was an experienced diver and an animal activist. He had done high-risk rescues for over 25 years, some with the military, and was the first to enter the water.
"Looking down the water, next I know I have this whale coming right up at me. It was like a slow moving bus coming at me."
James Moskito, Marine Mammal Center, 2005.
The humpback whale was ensnared by at least 12 crab traps about 18 miles off the coast of San Francisco. The 240-foot-long anchor ropes had wrapped around the animal's tail, two of its flippers and its mouth.
The traps weighed 90 pounds apiece, anchoring down the humpback whale and prompting it to struggle to break the surface of the ocean to breathe through its blowhole. The ropes were painfully cinched against the whale, cutting into its body.
Moskito's task was twofold; his effort to free the animal was complicated by the risk that its sheer size could kill him with one false move. Fortunately, the whale proved to be surprisingly cooperative and gentle.
He said that once the whale was set free, it began swimming in circles, going up to each diver who helped her, nuzzling them before moving on to the next rescuer.
Whale experts said it's nice to think that the whale was thanking its rescuers, but nobody really knows what was on its mind.
Humpback whales are known for their complex vocalizations that sound like singing and for their acrobatic breaching, an apparently playful activity in which they lift almost their entire bodies out of the water and splash down.