A marine biologist named Nan Hauser was in the midst of researching a whale in Muri Beach, Rarotonga located in the Cook Islands. The 50,000 pound mammal she was observing started to behave strangely and that’s when Hauser realized there was a predator nearby.
Scroll down to watch the video footage!
Nan Hauser was amazed to watch the whale protect the snorkeler from the shark
The massive humpback whale began to push the marine biologist with its head and mouth which she thought was strange as they generally pay little attention to divers.
Little did Hauser know that there was a 15-foot-long tiger shark swimming not too far away from them and the whale had realized this. It then proceeded to try and protect the human by trying to get her back onto her boat.
It even tried to shield Hauser under it’s pectoral fin for her safety
The video recording shows Hauser swimming next to the whale and when she realized what was going on you could hear her start to get frantic. There were also other whales nearby and they slapped their tails on the water’s surface to try and drive the shark away. Scientists knew that whales had a tendency to protect other species’ but this was the first time it was caught on camera and at such close proximity.
When Hauser was safely on her boat, the whale came up to the surface to check on her
Hauser said the incident was evidence of the whale’s protective intuition. She likened them to firemen who would jump into a burning house in an instant if they knew someone was trapped inside.
“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. It seemed like hours. I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on putting me on his head, or belly, or back, or, most of all, trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin.” said Hauser
“It’s funny how the tables are turned here: I’ve spent the past 28 years protecting whales, and in the moment, I didn’t even realize that they were protecting me!”
Hauser admitted she had never seen a whale up close before this encounter and only protected them from afar.