Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Humpback Whale Rescues Baby Seal


Scientists Robert L Pitman and John W Durban sailed to the Antarctic in search of killer whales - killer whales that eat seals, catching them by forcing or tipping them off ice flows.

While they observed the unfolding of such an event, a group of humpback whales arrived on the scene. Pitman and Durban watched as one seal, swept into the water by the orca, swam towards the humpbacks.

As the killer whales moved in, the seal leapt onto the vast
ribbed belly of a humpback, and nestled in the animal's armpit. And when a wave threatened to put the seal back in harm’s way, the humpback used its massive fifteen foot long flipper to help it back on.

"Moments later the seal scrambled off and swam to the safety of a nearby ice floe," wrote the scientists. They believe the seal triggered a maternal defense mechanism in the humpbacks. Scientists have to talk that way. Normal people would say that the humpback which has a huge brain and lives in close societies had empathy for the seal just as any of us might. WE do not credit animals with higher brain functions, even though the anatomy of their brains shows they clear have that capacity. Here's a question for you: what would the consequences be if we really got it that animals have minds, emotions and feelings. Ponder that one.

6 comments:

sandyandy1792002 said...

I already think that animals have those feelings and if humans have a problem believing that, then I think they have a major big head.

Eileen Smith said...

An amazing story, but yet to me, not surprising. These are magnificent beings.

grandmacharlottes said...

I have always believed that animals and birds of all kinds are more intelligent and caring than we give them credit for. They even have senses we can't comprehend, like knowing beforehand that a natural disaster is going to happen or being able to sniff out cancer cells inside of people, some even owe their life to animals that have rescued them. It's a real shame that more humans don't understand these facts or even try to.

6913 Recordings said...

I think it's obvious that animals have feelings and can make decisions based on ethical judgement and act out of compassion.

It's the industry-funded scientific community which spends all their time attempting to deny this glaringly obvious fact so that the people who pay their research grants can continue victimizing animals in the name of profit.

ResQDogZ said...

Would to God that we humans began to respect and cherish those "lower species" with whom we share this planet (or more appropriately, who share THEIR planet with us)!

As late-comers to this party we call "life-on-earth", we've certainly demonstrated our proclivity toward haughty, self-absorbed indulgence as we blithely continue destroying their environment right along with ours!

Why is it - do you suppose - that we impose our "scientific supremacy" upon these wondrous creatures, and deem them all to lack compassion, self-awareness, indeed cognizance of any nature?

To assuage our concerns that they might in all reality be considerably more "humane" than we believe ourselves to be?

It would have been priceless, to have captured such an intimate act of kindness on video, for all the world to share - and learn from...

ONELONEDOLPHIN said...

IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL HUMANS ARE AS ENLIGHTENED! MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH A POD OF CETACEANS IN HAWAII AND ONE SPOTTED DOLPHIN IN PARTICULAR (WHOM ANSWERS TO THE NAME OF BUBBLES) CONVINCED ME WHEN HE . REMEMBERED ME AFTER A 20 YR ABSENCE ON MY PART. THESE OCEAN SPECIES ARE AS CAPABLE OF INTER COMMUNICATING AS HUMANS ARE! CONSIDER THE MANY LANGUAGES AND CULTURES ON LAND, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR COMMUNICATION AND THEIRS...IT SIMPLY EXISTS!