The whale that thanked its rescuers-Reported to be Truth!
The Whale That Thanked It's Rescuers-Reported to Be Truth!Summary of eRumor:
The story of a humpback whale that was wrapped in crab traps and lines near San Francisco, California. After working long and hard to cut the lines from her, she is said to have rejoiced and returned to "thank" each of the rescuers.
The Truth:According to the San Francisco Chronicle article from December 14, 2005, this story is true although animal experts say nobody knows what was happening in the mind of the whale when these incidents took place.
The whale was spotted by crab fishermen wrapped in the nylon ropes that connect crab traps to each other. The traps are heavy and the whale was struggling to keep on the surface so it could breathe. Experts assessed the situation and concluded that the only chance the whale had is if rescuers would actually get into the water with her and cut her bonds one-by-one. That was risky because any thrashing on the part of the 50-ton animal could be deadly. One of the divers, James Moskito, said the whale was peaceful during the hour or so it took him and others to cut the ropes and there was a vibration coming from the whale the whole time. Moskito said that when the whale realized it was free it began swimming in circles. ""It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," Moskito said., "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun." He said the whale nuzzled him, then swam to each of the other rescuers as well.
Whale experts told the Chronicle that it's nice to think that the whale was thanking its rescuers, but nobody really knows what was on its mind.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle on–
Thu, 15 Dec 2005 — you would have read about a female
humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider
web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by
100s of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay
afloat. She had 100s of yards of line (rope) wrapped
around her body – her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands
(outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental
group for help. Within a few hours the rescue team arrived
and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save
her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous
proposition; One slap of the tail could kill a few rescuers.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually
freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in
what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each
and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them
gently around – she thanked them… some say it was the most
incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who
cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following
him the whole time, and he will never be the same.