Are Humpbacks The Guardians of The Ocean? Scientists Witness Remarkable Act of The Whales Rescuing Other Marine Species from OrcasBy Anita Valencia, UniversityHerald Reporter
Scientists were surprised to find that humpback whales have that 'hero attitude' to save the lives of others in ocean world.
In 2009, scientists witness humpbacks rescuing a seal
Robert Pitman, a scientist who witnessed another humpback mission to rescue a seal back in 2009, talks about the incident. He said that he was actually collecting scientific data when he noticed the event.
Two humpbacks were working together to rescue the seal. One of them tried to keep the killer whales away whilst the other circling around the seal. To his surprise, he noticed that the humpback protecting the seal was pulling it back onto its chest when it was about to slip into the water.
This finding backs a recent study that reveals how 'offensive' humpbacks can be to killer whales. There were 35 reports of the humpbacks protecting other ocean creatures and more than 80 percent of the cases found that these humpback whales saved other marine species not related to them.
Humpback's mission to rescue is always done in teamwork
The video shows how the humpbacks protect a Gray whale's calf from two killer whales. The humpbacks' behavior somehow indicates that they tried to protect the helpless animal from the orcas.
In order to rescue their fellows, humpback whales don't do it solo. They tend to act in group, with at least two in the pack. From harbor seals to ocean sunfish, researchers have seen the humpbacks rescuing these animals from predators by discouraging them.
Are humpback whales really selfless?
While scientists cannot exactly determine the complicated emotional life of the humpbacks, the events could suggest that humpbacks are trying to warn killer whales not to mess with their calves, Mother Nature Network reported. For the record, orcas have long been known to hunt humpback calves. And with humpbacks regularly hunting the orcas, the act could send signals to the killer whales so they won't get closer to their calves.
Watch humpbacks' efforts to keep away killer whales from Gray whale calf below