A Humpback whale was in a lot of trouble. Fortunately, a day that could have ended in tragedy instead was turned into a moment of triumph.
Humpback whales are remarkable sea mammals, and large ones: they generally measure 40 to 50 feet long and weigh about 40 tons. Simply surfacing to breathe isn’t enough for these giants. They love to show off by jumping high out of the water. This makes them a favorite of whale watchers. The humpback whale population has recovered in the last 50 years and there are now about 80,000 of them swimming the world’s oceans. This make them a relatively abundant species of whale. But they still face threats from human activity, including getting tangled up in fishing nets. When even one humpback finds itself in peril, rescuing it is doing the planet a big favor.
Michael Fishback, the co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy, saw what he though was a dead female humpback whale. When he swam out to have a closer look, he found the unfortunate whale was alive but trapped in a fishing net. He had to act quickly: there was only so much longer the exhausted and frightened whale would be able to hang in there. What followed was an hour of heroic effort from Fishback, cutting the net and pulling pieces of it away. At long last, the whale was able to swim free. Oh, and it was Valentine’s Day, so they decided to name the whale Valentina!
What happens next is nothing less than amazing! The liberated whale puts on an incredible and unforgettable display of gratitude. Check it out the video we’ve posted below.
Are you fascinated by the ocean’s gentle giants? Is the well-being of whales something you’ve long been concerned about? Tell us all about it in the Facebook comments. Don’t forget to like and share so your friends can see this amazing rescue.