Nan Hauser has dedicated her life to studying whales. For the past 28 years, she has worked to protect them and educate the public about them.
But in all her years of working to save the whales, she never thought one of them would save her.
Nan, who heads up Whale Research Cook Islands, was doing a dive recently when something happened that she had never experienced before.
A massive humpback whale swam right up next to her and started pushing her through the water with his head.
Even though Nan has a lot of experience swimming with whales, this encounter left her scared. The whale was huge and she knew it wouldn’t take much for him to hurt – or even kill – her.
She tried to swim away from the whale, but he kept coming back to her, pushing her through the water and under his fins.
Panicked, Nan quickly swam to the surface to try to call for help, and it was only then that she realized the whale had just saved her life…
A tiger shark – a large and aggressive species known to attack humans – had been swimming close by. Amazingly, the whale had seen it and decided to protect Nan.
Nan has seen whales protect seals and other animals before, but she never expected one to save her.
“These animals have this altruistic behavior,” she said. “They will risk their lives to save another species like a fireman would run into a house on fire.”
This was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one Nan will never forget!
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