In a reversal of roles, a humpback whale calf was recently seen nudging its stranded mother to safer, deeper waters off the east coast of Australia. The chain of events leading to the heartwarming rescue unfolded near North Stradbroke Island, 62 miles southwest of Brisbane, on Friday, October 7.
The adult humpback whale became inadvertently stuck on a sandbank after the tide went out. Luckily, she was accompanied by a caring offspring. A team of rescuers from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS) sent to help the whales watched as the calf persistently nudged its mother towards deeper waters. It took about 40 minutes and some help from the incoming tide, but the determined baby whale succeeded without any human assistance. Shortly after, the distressed-looking adult and its savior swam away to safety.
The QPWS rescuers are not sure how the adult managed to get stuck on the sandbar. However, it is not unusual to see humpbacks along the Queensland coast during this time of the year. The mammals come to give birth before heading off to spend the summer in the Antarctica with their newly-born calves swimming alongside.