Rescue
Giant sperm whale approaches diver asking for help when in pain
When the whale got close to him he knew something wasn't right.
Sasha Alonzo
08.15.22

When we think of the ocean one of the first sea creatures that typically pop into our heads are whales. These massive beasts roam the ocean and are a marvel to look at.

Isaac Kohane via Flickr
Source:
Isaac Kohane via Flickr

Sperm whales

Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are huge mammals that can grow up to 55 feet. Easily recognized by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads, these huge carnivores are actually vulnerable despite their size.

Scientists say these whales have the largest brains of any creature known to have lived. Perhaps that intelligence allowed this whale to ask for help from a diver.

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Sperm whales’ heads also hold large quantities of a substance called spermaceti.

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Their diet

As massive as they are, these whales are gentle and only feast on squid they find when they dive down to the depths of the ocean.

Helping another creature out

The diver is Hugues Vitry. He is a world-famous Maurician environmentalist and underwater photographer, and in this video, he removed a small fish hook from the whale’s lower jaw.

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Vitry is also the Diving Centre Manager and Vice President of Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization.

He once freed a whale that got entangled in ropes. Vitry makes the effort to help and conserve marine life, saying one person can make a huge difference. He also says not to believe everything the media says about the oceans.

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How the whale asks for help

The whale swims close to Vitry, moving its huge body sideways before opening its jaw to show the diver that she needed help. One small hook caused this huge whale discomfort. Imagine what huge objects could do.

As the whale swims beside Vitry, he trains his camera on her narrating what was going on.

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Noticing the whale is in pain

Vitry says he swam closer to the whale and saw blood.

The translation is rough but he says the hook was by the whale’s tooth so, with some force, he was able to remove it from the whale’s mouth. The massive mammal remained calm the whole time.

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A marvelous sight

Vitry himself was in awe when the whale seemed to linger for a bit after he attempted to reassure the creature that it was over. The whale in return seemed to be thanking him!

Take it from this viewer who seemed to understand Vitry’s French,

“For those interested, the guy (an overseas French, I’d say Reunionnais but he could from another island) talks about how strange it was to see this sperm whale come to them with its open mouth yet unagressively, how he saw that its mouth was bleeding, and how after the hook was removed he took a little time to try to make the whale understand it was over, hugged it, and how the sperm whale stood by for a while after that, showing signs that could be interpreted as gratitude.”

Whales are highly intelligent creatures.

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Vitry froze for a bit before making his way to the whale once more. He hugs the huge whale, pressing his head against hers, as he whispered words of love to the once helpless mammal.

The whale, as large as it is, still needed his help. They need our help. Let’s hope Vitry’s actions inspire many others to do the same.

Watch the incredible moment between man and whale in the video below.

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By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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