Sunday, October 6, 2013

Foggy Free: Grommet Grateful

It's a whale of a tale with a very splashy ending.
Foggy the humpback whale found herself in trouble off the coast of Nova Scotia recently. A regular visitor to the region, Foggy had swum into some fishing gear and ended up with rope wrapped around her mouth, head, the narrow part of her tail, and near her blowhole.
Tour guide Chris Callaghan was escorting a group of whale enthusiasts, when she heard about Foggy in distress: "She was so entangled, she wasn't able to lift her tail."
The local Whale Rescue Team was called: when they arrived in their zodiac, Foggy was not moving. But by her side was Grommet, an adult female humpback whale also known to visit the area. Rescuers were concerned about Grommet because "sometimes other whales interfere, thinking we're going to do more harm than good," says rescuer Jerry Conway.
But Grommet calmly waited for the rescuers to do their work. After 45mins' rope-cutting, Foggy was free! What happened next is something neither Conway nor Callaghan have ever seen before...Grommet jumped high into the air and landed in the water with a gigantic splash.
Perhaps it's a case of humans attaching human characteristics to a whale, Conway says, but it seemed like "she was pleased to see her buddy free." As for Callaghan? "I think it was pure celebration."
"Gee, thanks, guys!"

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