Video has surfaced showing two humpback whales bumping and damaging a boat operated by the director of an animal rights group off Comox in British Columbia, Canada.
At the 50-second mark one of the whales bangs the vessel with its head, causing a window to crack.
The footage is eerie in that the whales’ loud exhalations and contact with the boat are the only sounds, as Capt. Peter Hamilton silently captures the mammals’ actions on video.
The whales swim slowly around the vessel, poking their heads out of the water (spyhopping) as if looking for people. At various points they rock the boat and at least one of them uses its pectoral fins to repeatedly slap the hull.
Hamilton, director of the Vancouver-based group Lifeforce, documented the peculiar encounter last Thursday.
He told The Province that while humpback whales are famously curious about people aboard boats, this more aggressive behavior was uncommon.
Hamilton, who confessed that the physical nature of this encounter was unsettling, said the whales became disinterested after about 20 minutes and swam away.
Hamilton said his engine was turned off during the encounter, which is in adherence to whale-watching guidelines.