Featured Image Credit: Caters News Agency
By Sarah Sharkey
A gentle giant was caught on camera protecting a human snorkeler from a lurking 15-foot tiger shark. Although the shark is not visible in the video, the film crew of Nan Hauser, the protected snorkeler, did witness an unfriendly shark investigating from a distance.
Nan Hauser is a marine biologist who focuses her research on whales. She believes that this display of protection is proof of humpback whales’ tendency to protect other and smaller creatures around them from would-be predators. She compared this instinct to firemen who risk their lives every day to protect their communities.
Check out the video of the amazing moment here!
The whale can be seen using its pectoral fins to shelter the biologist from an impending attack. The tactics the whale used were actually fairly rough and a not a pleasant experience. Even though the encounter was in the hopes of protecting this snorkeler, the whale was not aware of its own strength so Hauser had to work hard to keep her cool in the moment. The biologist has a lot of experience in dealing with these large whales up close though so end the end she said: “I feel a very close kinship with animals, so despite my trepidation, I tried to stay calm and figure out how to get away from him.”
Hauser said that this is the first time a humpback whale has been recorded protecting a human, but they have been known to protect their young and other smaller species.
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