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VIDEO: Caring encounter

Scarred and bewildered, a young humpback whale approached a group of kayaks from Epic Ocean Adventures more closely than the guides had ever seen.

In addition to the scars, the whale had a few small fresh wounds, and for about 10 minutes it rubbed against one of the kayaks, turning over to show the paddlers something. A rope had become tangled around one of its flippers and was affecting its movements.

Tour guide Tyron van Santen entered the water and freed the flipper, but he discovered that the rope led to the whale’s mouth. Likely the whale had swallowed a length of rope, maybe with something attached to it.

Before van Santen could do anything more, the whale swam away. The group paddled to the beach and immediately called local authorities. As of July 18, no one had sighted the whale.

Visit Epic Ocean Adventures to see an interview with van Santen.