Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Whale saves diver from potential shark attack

Whale saves diver from potential shark attack

In the video, biologist Nan Hauser is swimming with a 25-ton humpback whale.

The whale biologist told the Daily Mirror that she believes the moment in September reveals the whale's intuitive instinct to protect another species of animal.

Biologist Nan Hauser captured the entire scene as it unfolded in the waters off the Cook Islands.

Out of shot, another whale was persistently tail slapping and keeping the shark away from Nan and the whale that was pushing her.

The unbelievable encounter seen in the video below occurred off the coast of Rarotonga, one of the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean, The Independent reported. Throughout the video, you can see the whale tucking the snorkeler under his pectoral fin and pushing Hauser with his massive head. Then, she spotted the 15-foot tiger shark that was swimming nearby. It was only when she saw the animal moving its tail left to right, instead of up to down, that she realized it was not a whale but, rather, a potentially risky animal swimming towards her.

"I've spent the past 28 years protecting whales, and in the moment, I didn't even realise that they were protecting me", she added.

Credit Caters
Credit Caters

Theories behind the behavior include revenge against orcas for having previously killed young humpback whales.

Hauser, president of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, tells the Portland Press Herald that whales are "altruistic" and often hide seals from predators, but she has never experienced or read about anything about a whale protecting a human.

Local fishermen described the tiger shark being as big "as a pickup truck". While Hauser is convinced the whale saved her, others aren't so sure. It seemed like hours.

On the biologist's nearby research vessel, Hauser's team was anxious about her, abandoning their drone footage because, as Nan describes the moment, they "did not want to film my death". "I was a bit bruised up", Hauser told the Mirror.

Humpback whales are best known for their underwater songs, which they use to communicate with one another, National Geographic reported.

"[Humpback whales] truly display altruism - sometimes at the risk of losing their own lives", she continued.

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