I’ve always heard whales were intelligent creatures and I’ve seen Free Willy but if I was out boating with friends and a giant whale came nudging our boat, I would surely be too terrified to even attempt to figure out what it wanted.
Two young men – who clearly are not “scaredy cats” like me – were able to help a whale remove a plastic bag from its mouth. The whale first nudged their boat to get their attention in Middle Harbour north of Sydney, Australia, and then circled it and swam underneath it.
The friends started to notice the mammal had trash bags and fishing line caught in its mouth and one of them, Ivan Iskenderian, was able to reach out and pull the items out.
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After the bag and junk were removed, the whale stuck around long enough for Iskenderian’s friend to snap some selfies and flapped its fin as a sign of appreciation before swimming away.
Iskenderian reportedly described the encounter as “unbelievable” and “surreal.” Another group of fisherman who witnessed the event captured part of it on video.