root Marine biologist Nan Houser How a 50,000-pound Humpback Whale Saved Her From a Shark Attack.
Weeping with emotion, Nan Hauser, 69, spoke of the encounter off Moree Beach, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The footage has now been released as part of National Geographic’s annual Sharkfest event.
In the footage, you can see Hauser trying to avoid hitting the whale’s huge pectoral fins – which are on either side of it. Unsurprisingly, a creature of this size has tremendous strength, but rather than harm the marine biologist, it saves her.
And she continued, “I suddenly realized that the shark was approaching me directly below.” The scientist said that when she saw the shark approaching, she and the whale “knew this was a dangerous situation, and wanted to get out of the water.”
The predator was a 15-foot tiger shark – notorious for carrying out attacks on humans.
Hauser’s rescuer successfully pushed her onto the back of the boat with the bow of his head, and she gratefully climbed into the boat. Taking a deep breath as she explained those final moments, Hauser recalled: “I looked and he was right there next to me, protecting me…and I cried.”
Then the whale left with a spray from its hole. Scientists say his behavior is very similar to that of a humpbacked mother toward her calf. These whales have learned to attack prey head-on preemptively.
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