Whale apparently shows gratitude after being rescued

Well, I don’t know whether whales are grateful for being helped, but here’s a group of wonderful people who spent a lot of time cutting an exhausted humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) free from a nylon gill net. After they succeed, the whale breaches repeatedly. The narrator is sure that bespeaks gratitude, and who knows? But we should be grateful that people like this exist.


  1. Brad
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    WOW!That was WONDERFUL! Thank You so much for sharing the video! What was that about altruism? Not for our species, but for the whole planet. THAT is what makes some humans different.

  2. Posted December 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Might have seen this on WEIT three or four years ago. Still liked the video though.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      There was a different one, in about that time frame.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    That is why we are here, so we can stop killing them and start saving them. Only people often contemplate the why are we here question. This is why.

    • Posted December 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Or we could get a Klingon ship, go back in time and … wait that’s been done.

  4. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Gill nets are pure evil.

    They’re also terrifying if you encounter them while snorkelling. Pretty damned scary when you’re on tank, but at least you’ve got time to work when you’re on tanks.

  5. sang1ee
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    He says, “we all believed that it was at least a show of pure joy, if not thanks.” Very fair assessment.

  6. David Best
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Something like this has happened to me, with a seabird. We were walking along a beach in northern New South Wales Australia when we saw a tern apparently in distress. When I slowly approached it it ran then stretched its wings to fly away. As it stretched its wings its head appeared to be pulled down and it tumbled over. This was repeated several times by the poor frantic bird. When I caught it I saw the poor creature had fishing line coming from its mouth and tangled around its left wing, cutting into it. We found a fisherman and used his knife to free the tern as much as we could (we could do nothing about the apparent hook down its gullet) and let it go.
    About 20 minutes later we were walking along a rock wall at the entrance to the Brunswick River, when I saw a tern hovering in the breeze right above us. I was fairly sure it was the same tern as it had a mark on the left wing in pretty much the same place as the fishing line was. It was staring straight at us. While we were looking it gave one definite call, still looking right at us, then flew away.
    I have never seen (or heard of) behaviour like this from a bird. In my mind it was showing gratitude. Obviouly I will never forget it.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Hey…you never know.

  7. nwalsh
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that. A fine way to end the day.

  8. yazikus
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Very neat video.

    My somewhat fussy and diabetic dog often smiles/wags his tail after I give him his insulin shot. I like to think he knows it makes him feel better, which is why he’s such a great sport about it.

  9. Achrachno
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Altruistic behavior on behalf of the whale?

  10. Posted December 6, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t we have a video showing an elephant thanking time back on the same site? Both elephants and whales seem to be intelligent.

  11. Posted December 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    No doubt the whale showed gratefulness, especially after having made eye contact with his life saviour. I also noted the coincidence of the name (Michael) FISHbach, with his profession WHALE observer.

  12. Posted December 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Forgot to say thank you for sharing this video!

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