A group of Australian fisherman recently recorded an unusual interaction with a baleen whale, after the animal approached their boat, seemingly asking for help.
Ivan Iskenderian, 20, was fishing with friends in Middle Harbor, Sydney, when the whale approached their boat, according to Grind TV. The anglers first observed the whale when it was swimming next to them, reportedly nudging the vessel, but after a moment they noticed the creature was encumbered by fishing line and a plastic bag, which was wrapped around the whale’s mouth. When the whale surfaced less than an arm’s length from the side of the boat, Iskenderian was able to reach out and remove the debris.
— smh.com.au (@smh) August 14, 2015
“It was lifting its head up and it had a bit of plastic bag and some fishing line on its head,” he recalled. “I sorta just reached out, [the whale] sorta wanted me to grab it [the plastic bag]. I just picked it up and took it off, ripped it off a bit.”
The angler’s friends cheered when he removed the bag and line, according to NBC News, and the whale also appeared to show its thanks. The animal, thought to be a southern right whale, began playing in the water next to Iskenderian’s boat before moving away. The whale also appeared to wave as it departed, repeatedly slapping he surface of the water with its fin.
“Then it was just here playing around, seemed quite happy about it. It was really inquisitive… sort of taking its eye out of the water and looking at us.”
— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) August 14, 2015
The unusual interaction is hardly the first involving a whale to be documented this week. Recently, a family in Washington recorded their dog interacting with a pod of orcas, which seemed curious regarding the canine. As the Inquisitr previously reported, that incident was preceded by another, in which a humpback whale approached a dog that was watching it from a shoreline.
While Iskenderian’s interaction with the whale was unusual in its own right, any sighting of the species is also rare in Sydney. Though southern right whales are indigenous to that hemisphere, their numbers off the east coast of Australia remain low. The fishermen were able to take several pictures with the whale before it departed, however, and they describe their unusual interaction with it as “surreal.”
[Image: Facebook/ Ron Kovacs via Grind TV]