Whale biologist Nan Hauser and her diving team were diving off the coast of the Cook Islands in the South pacific when a tiger shark began circling her and placing her life in danger. She had no chance to escape. Suddenly, a 50,000 pound humpback whale hid her under it’s fin then used it’s head to push her to safety as she blocked the tiger shark and kept it from attacking.
The 50,000lb mammal can also be seen tucking the 63-year-old under its pectoral fin and it even lifts the biologist out of the water at one point.
Nan said the incident, which occurred in October, is proof of the whale’s intuitive nature to protect other species of animal – including humans – something she believes has never been captured on film.
The biologist compared this to firemen being willing to rush into a burning home to help save the lives of strangers.
Surrounding the unsuspecting snorkeler and the roughly 14-metres-long mammal was a 15-foot tiger shark.
The footage shows the whale guiding the diver into a certain direction and it’s not longer before Nan breaks the surface and reveals to her team on board a boat that there is a shark nearby.
Hauser said there was a second whale nearby that was slapping it’s tale in order to divert the attention of the shark. Humpback whales not only protect their calves from attacks from predators, they have also been known to save other species from attacks too. Scientists are not really sure why they do this but they think they might be trying to display dominance over the predators, to keep them from coming back when they have calves.
Nan, who lives on the Cook Islands, said: ‘I wasn’t sure what the whale was up to when he approached me, and it didn’t stop pushing me around for over 10 minutes.
‘I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin.
‘In my head, I was a bit amused since I write Rules and Regulations about whale harassment – and here I was being harassed by a whale’