Desperate Whale Calf Tries to Free Its Mother From a Sandbank

By George Dvorsky on at

Unbelievable footage from Australia shows a whale calf as it desperately tries to free its mother from a sandbank.

The humpback whales were spotted near North Stradbroke Island, about an hour’s drive from Brisbane. The mother had swum on top of a sandbank and was unable to get free. Video footage of the scene shows the distressed calf nudging and pushing its mum in an attempt to free her from the bank.

In response, a team from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services were dispatched to help rescue the pair. Fortunately, owing to incoming tides and the efforts of the youngster, the mother humpback was able to free herself and swim away. Both appeared tired and distressed after the incident, but were otherwise unhurt.

Desperate Whale Calf Tries to Free Its Mother From a SandbankFrom the Queensland National Parks Facebook page.

This sort of empathetic or helpful behaviour is not uncommon amongst whales. Earlier this summer, a pair of humpback whales came to the rescue of a seal who was being pursued by orca whales. They’ve even saved humans from drowning. And in one fascinating incident from 2013, a group of sperm whales adopted a dolphin with a spine deformity. [BBC]