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Whale saves diver from tiger shark - video

Marine biologist Nan Hauser was snoorking off the coast of Rarotonga Island, part of the South Cook Islands chain, when she was suddenly ‘shifted’ by a humpback whale that spotted a tiger shark coming towards her! The whole story might have been hard to believe were it not for the fact that it was caught
Published: January 11, 2018 - 15:32
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:20
Whale saves diver from tiger shark – video

Marine biologist Nan Hauser was snoorking off the coast of Rarotonga Island, part of the South Cook Islands chain, when she was suddenly ‘shifted’ by a humpback whale that spotted a tiger shark coming towards her! The whole story might have been hard to believe were it not for the fact that it was caught on camera.

As she herself stated, the whole incident may prove that whales have an intuitive nature, to protect other species – including humans. Nan Hauser also claims that this is the first time a humpback whale has been documented protecting a human from a shark.

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The giant 25-tonne whale shielded the 63-year-old woman with its pectoral fin and then pointed in her direction for about 10 minutes, pushing her and nudging her head. Only after a while did she realise that a previously unnoticed large tiger shark was nearby, and the whale was trying to pull her away from it.

[blockquote style=”2″]”For 28 years I’ve done a lot to protect whales, and in that moment, it didn’t even cross my mind that this time it was one of them protecting me!” – Hauser recalls the whole situation[/blockquote].

She called the whale’s behaviour altruistic and compared it to that of firefighters rescuing strangers from a burning building. In nearly three decades of studying whales, she had never encountered anything like it.

Saved by a whaleWatchas a humpback whale rescues a marine biologist from a shark.

Published by BBC News on 9 January 2018

Nevertheless, before she had grasped all aspects of the situation, she was not sure what the whale was about and whether the whole incident would not end fatally for her.

[blockquote style=”2″]”I didn’t understand what the whale was about when he approached me and didn’t stop pushing and poking for those 10 long minutes that dragged on like hours. Fortunately, it only ended with a few bruises. In three decades of being among whales, I never had that kind of contact either. I even tried to run away from it, fearing that if it wanted to ram me or hit me too hard with a fin, that would be the end of it.”[/blockquote]

A second whale was also nearby and took part in the whole incident. However, its role was limited to trying to stop the shark by hitting it on the tail. Fishermen and other divers who saw the whole situation describe that the tiger shark was huge and could have been 4.5 to 6 metres long!

Nan Hauser says she has previously heard of whales behaving altruistically towards their young and other species when protecting them from predators, but she has never encountered such behaviour towards humans. So far, similar cases have only been known from another marine mammal – dolphins.

[blockquote style=”2″]”There is a published scientific paper by Robert Pitman about humpback whales protecting other animal species. It describes, for example, cases of seals hiding under their pectoral fins to prevent them from falling prey to orcas. The altruism of these magnificent animals goes so far that they sometimes risk their own lives, for other animals.” – Hauser concluded[/blockquote].

Source: independent.co.uk

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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