A 63-year-old woman was snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean when a 50,000-pound humpback whale started to push her around in the water with its mouth. It was a 15-foot shark that had suddenly appeared that this whale was attempting to save this snorkeler from with its movements.
Nan Hauser is a whale biologist, so watching the actions of whales in their natural ocean habitat is something she is very familiar with. She was snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean when the tiger shark was eyeing her, but the whale would end up being her hero that day. Hauser was with a group of researchers out on the ocean to film the whales.
The whale first attempted to ward off the shark by moving its massive tale toward the predator. The stunning video above shows Hauser’s plight as that whale made several different maneuvers to protect Hauser from the predator, according to Fox News.
The humpback whale not only pushed the snorkeler with its mouth every time the shark got close, but it also tucked her under its pectoral fin. At one point, the whale lifted Hauser out of the water to get her out of the path of the shark.
Hauser was in the water off the shore of Muri Beach in Rarotonga, which is in the Cook Islands. She had been in the water observing two humpback whales when the tiger shark appeared. She was able to return to the safety of the boat because this whale had protected her, and she said that the whale even came back later to check on her.
Whales and dolphins save humans all the time. We're overdue to return the favour. https://t.co/PLzKrqnfk1
— Tom Kenis (@tomkenis) January 9, 2018
When Hauser spoke to the Daily Mirror, she said that she believes that whale had an intuitive instinct to protect another species of animal. She wasn’t sure what the whale was about to do when it first approached her, but that whale pushed her around in the water for over 10 minutes.
The biologists on the research vessel were filming Hauser using a drone, which they abandoned once the saw the commotion in the water. They later told Hauser they had stopped the filming because they didn’t want to film her death, which is a good indication of just how serious this incident appeared to her colleagues.
Cool story about humpbacks again saving on another species. This time a human…
"It's funny how the tables are… https://t.co/VZ8z2FNKl3
— Thomas R. Kieckhefer (@SaveTheVaquita) January 8, 2018
As a whale biologist, she has a “kinship” with these animals, said Hauser.
“I didn’t want to panic because I knew that he would pick up on my fear. 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.”
The whale that saved Hauser from the shark was not a whale she had seen before that day.