Thursday, March 13, 2008
Dolphin rescues whales
Dolphins are well known for coming to the aid of their kin in ways such as pushing an ailing dolphin to the surface to breathe. But a dolphin rescuing members of another cetacean species has never been documented - until now. In New Zealand, two pygmy sperm whales which repeatedly stranded themselves despite efforts of human rescuers were apparently saved by a dolphin which herded the disoriented whales back toward the open sea. The dolphin, known locally as Moko, was a common sight in the area and thus could be presumed familiar with the local beaches, sandbars, and safe channels. One rescuer, Juanita Symes, said, "Moko just came flying through the water and pushed in between us and the whales. She got them to head toward the hill, where the channel is. It was an amazing experience. The best day of my life." Dolphin experts consulted were somewhat surprised but thought the descriptions of the event were likely true.