Whale watching – and petting

Whale petting

Petting a grey whale

I have always thought whales are awesome creatures – very likely much smarter than humans. This is a great story of how grey whales allow humans to touch and tickle them.

They were once referred to as ‘devil fish’ for the way they attacked whalers, but these enormous grey whales are now dubbed ‘the friendliest in the world’ as they rest their heads on boats and demand to be tickled.

These pictures show the 45-feet-long adult whales happily allowing their backs and tongues to be scratched.

The whales also encourage their young calves to approach boats, and if their bid to be touched goes unnoticed they swim along to more tourists in the hope of getting attention.

Since the late 1930s the species has been protected and numbers have gone from just 100 – placing them at risk of extinction – to 26,000.

‘They know the local fishermen are no longer a threat and have become the friendliest whales in the world,’ he said.

‘They come up to these small fibreglass boats, which are a few metres long, and place their chins on the side to be scratched and tickled.

‘They also encourage their calves to do the same. It is very much like a dog sitting at your feet near the fire.’

What a fantastic experience!

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