Whale violently slaps inflatable boat with its tail

Whale violently slaps inflatable boat with its tail


Whale violently slaps inflatable boat with its tail

A humpback whale twice the size of an inflatable Zodiac whale-watching boat gave tourists on that boat a story they won’t soon forget when it slapped the front end of the Zodiac with its tail.

Captain Guy Melville of Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises called it a “friendly tap,” according to The Canadian Press, but it could more accurately be described as a violent slap, as the force of the tail was quite jarring. It was fortunate no passengers were hit.

David Mulder, who captured the video, was among the seven passengers on the boat Sept. 2 when the incident occurred off Brier Island in Nova Scotia.

“We were drifting along on the lookout for whales when this one found us,” Mulder wrote in his description.

Melville told The Canadian Press the whale was longer than 49 feet.

“I think people were just awestruck,” Melville said. “The boat was officially, quote, ‘not under command,’ but the whale [was] in full command of the situation.

“Being incredibly intelligent animals, I think it was partly a curiosity move and partly a little bit of a dominance move.”

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Melville, who has led whale-watching tours for 10 years, called it a “highly unusual” event and told The Canadian Press he’s noticed more whales swimming near boats as food supplies diminish.

More from The Canadian Press:

In July, the federal Fisheries Department implemented new regulations that require people and vessels to maintain a minimum distance of 100 metres from most whales, dolphins and porpoises to protect them from human disturbances.

A distance of 200 meters is required when approaching killer whales in B.C. and 400 meters when approaching threatened or endangered species in Quebec’s St. Lawrence Estuary.

Melville also told The Canadian Press, “We as people, the onus is on us to assess and modify our actions…in order to accommodate these animals.”

Photo is a screen grab from the video.

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