A humpback whale reportedly expressed his appreciation to man after he swam to help free the animal trapped inside of a crab net near the Farallon Islands in California (video below).
“I remember it like it was just a few minutes ago,” the man, James Moskito, recalls on a YouTube video. “The whale came up out of breath, came up, put its eye above the surface, looked at me -- I could tell it was looking at me -- and just stayed there.”
The man said he and a few others quickly responded, diving into the shark-infested waters with the whale, and slowly swimming over to the creature.
“I could see [the whale’s] eye was following me,” the man remembers after he approached the whale.
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While close, he could now see there was a one-mile line tied up around the whale and a 3,000 pound anchor attached to the animal’s tail.
Undeterred, however, the man began trying to help save the whale by cutting as many ropes as possible.
“I put my hand on the whale and I told him, ‘Ok this is going to hurt,’” Moskito said, adding that the whale was cooperative regardless.
Finally, after cutting off the rope on the whale’s tail, the animal was free to move.
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Swimming about slowly, he soon dove back down into the sea -- but not before showing his appreciation to his new friend.
“Looking down at the water, the next thing I know I have this whale coming right up at me and it was like a slow-moving bus coming at me,” Moskito said. “It stopped -- it literally stopped -- six inches away from my chest and then nudged me forward like your household dog does when he wants to be petted. It turned on its side right next to me and stopped and looked.”
"It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," Moskito added, SF Gate reports. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun."