Tangled in ropes, fishing line and lobster traps, Foggy, a Humpback whale that frequents the Long Island coastal area, was trapped out at sea, unable to move or swim away. This type of event is sadly a common occurrence for a number of whales and other marine animals each year.
Foggy though did not have to go through her ordeal alone. Another female Humpback whale named Grommet was there and never strayed from her friend’s side.
According to Treehugger, both whales are well-known in the area and are frequently seen together by whale-watch cruise goers.
Christine Callaghan, a guide with Pirate’s Cove Whale & Seabird Cruises, witnessed Foggy’s entanglement and subsequent rescue.
“[Foggy] had rope wrapped around her head and across her blowholes, and as we carefully approached, we could see that she also had a loop of rope across her peduncle (the narrow part of her tail, just ahead of the flukes), dragging a mass of old lobster traps beneath her. She was listing to one side with the weight of all the gear,” wrote Callaghan on Pirate’s Cove Whale & Seabird Cruises Facebook Page.
Everyone on Callaghan’s tour was amazed to see Grommet there with Foggy.
“I will challenge anyone who claims that humans are the only intelligent, empathetic animals,” wrote Callaghan.
Eventually, a boat called the Shearwater from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass. came over to provide assistance but had to wait for the Whale Disentanglement Crew from Campobello Island for more specialized equipment.
Foggy waited patiently and quietly for the Whale Disentanglement Crew to cut her free and in no time she was able to flutter her tail and move again without hindrance to the joy of her friend, Grommet.
“The instant the rope came off Foggy’s head, Grommet dove, and then burst from the water in a spectacular breach! Tell me that wasn’t a celebration!” wrote Callaghan.
Animal friendships are not rare in the animal kingdom, but we often are not lucky enough to hear very much about them. This rescue story offers us an extraordinary glimpse into the intricate lives of animals and shows us that they can indeed feel and are much more intelligent than people give them credit for.
After Foggy’s rescue, both her and Grommet were seen swimming off together side-by-side into the distance. A beautiful image to end a spectacular rescue tale.
Image source: Pirate’s Cove Whale & Seabird Cruises