Stories of Kindness from Around the World

True Story of A Grateful Whale


--by Gayu, posted Jan 2, 2008
If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone 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 rescuer.

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 said 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.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate in the New Year -to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.  And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
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Readers Comments

Ollie wrote: How beautiful
AnnieJ wrote: Wow. That is such a beautiful story. I am so touched by the rescuers! And the thankful whale, aww <3 thank you for sharing this wonderful story!
mhats wrote: Really touching. Really after having such encounter, life would never be the same again.

CharlieB wrote: Thank you for sharing that story; we often forget that to be kind to those who have four legs or no logs (fins) is just as important as being kind to other human beings. Thank you for the reminder and the wonderful share.
sethi wrote: Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
michaelohagan wrote: I think that animals, (whales, dolphins)know more than we think, maybe they also know something that we dont!
Philip wrote: Its truly amazing. If lesser creatures can be so graterful, we ought to be more grateful to god who has given us this day, our daily bread.
bRiDgEt wrote: Omg thats so beautiful i wanna save a whale. And well done to the fisherman on getting help and well done to the divers for risking thier lives to save the poor whale. Thanx for sharing such an amazing story :)
bRiDgEt wrote: Omg thats so beautiful i wanna save a whale. And well done to the fisherman on getting help and well done to the divers for risking thier lives to save the poor whale. Thanx for sharing such an amazing story.
siva naidoo wrote: An incredibly moving and fascinating experience. We all natures creations . we need to respect and take care of all living things. thatnks for sharing this story with us

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