A recently emerged video is said to display acts of intelligence by one of the huge mammals in our oceans – whales. The stunning footage shows how a humpback whale took a marine biologist under its fin and swam her to safety, in the opposite direction of an awaiting tiger shark.
The team of the marine biologist, Nan Hauser, managed to capture the unique moment on film, which is said to reveal that the whale knew that there was a shark nearby, and that the human needed protection from it. The clip shows the whale using both its head and mouth to push Nan, 63, as well as lifting her entirely out of the water at one point.
The whale was reportedly 50,000-pounds, and protected the biologist from a 15-foot tiger shark that began to lurk nearby. Nan stated that the video clip taken by her team is proof that whales have a very intuitive nature, as well as a clear instinct to protect other species, which we’ve now seen includes humans.
Nan, who lives on the Cook Islands, further explained that there was also another whale nearby, sadly just out of the camera shot, who was also helping by tail-slapping, which was reportedly keeping the shark a safe distance away. Nan explained, “I wasn’t sure what the whale was up to when he approached me, and it didn’t stop pushing me around for over 10 minutes. It seemed like hours. I was a bit bruised up.
“I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on putting me on his head, or belly, or back, or, most of all, trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin. I tried to get away from him for fear that if he rammed me too hard, or hit me with his flippers or tail, that would break my bones and rupture my organs. If he held me under his pectoral fin, I would have drowned.
“I didn’t want to panic, because I knew that he would pick up on my fear. I stayed calm to a point but was sure that it was most likely going to be a deadly encounter. I feel a very close kinship with animals, so despite my trepidation, I tried to stay calm and figure out how to get away from him. I never took my eyes off him which is why I didn’t see the shark right away.”
I am Jess Murray, wildlife conservationist, photographer and writer. Follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to be part of the journey. I like to document the natural world and create awareness through my writing so that your future can be sustainable and positive.