Closely related to dolphins, whales, and other marine life that breathes air through a blowhole, beluga whales are a smaller variety of whales which can be found in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean. White in coloration, beluga whales, like other animals in the cetacean family, are considered highly intelligent.
That is why this next story is so amazing. Not only is this particular beluga whale highly intelligent, it is also very friendly, a mixture that comes into play as you will see.
A Normal Day at the Harbor
Ina Mansika and her friends had traveled to the tiny Norwegian harbor town of Tufjord, near Hammerfest where Ina is from. The reason was to see a recent visitor, a beluga whale who had been found in the waters off the shore of Norway near the small hamlet wearing a harness. It is believed the whale has links to the Russian military since it was initially found wearing a leather harness.
A Surprise Rescue
The white whale was so friendly that it would retrieve plastic wrings thrown into the harbor by the locals and return them to the people standing on the docks. The whale’s tendency to retrieve items was a godsend as Ina lost her phone into the murky water trying to pat the sea creature. Ina Mansika talked about the incident:
“We laid down on the dock to look at it and hopefully get the chance to pat it. I had forgotten to close my jacket pocket and my phone fell in the ocean. We assumed it would be gone forever, until the whale dove back down and came back a few moments later with my phone in its mouth! Everyone was so surprised. We almost didn’t believe what we saw. I was super happy and thankful that I got my phone back.”
What Are Beluga Whales?
One of only two members of the Monodontidae family of whales, though it is closely related to dolphins, porpoises, and other whales. Beluga whales are the only whales with a light coloration, which acts as camouflage to help hide them from their primary predators, polar bears and killer whales.
Living in pods, beluga whales are highly sought after by aquatic centers and some militaries, who prize them for their high intelligence.
The Whale’s Other Claim to Fame
In addition to this particular beluga whale’s penchant for retrieving items, it also has another distinction. This is the same whale that was found by fishermen off of the coat of Norway wearing a harness purportedly linking it to the Russian military. The fishermen were able to remove the harness safely.
Far From Home
While seemingly far from home, the whale is friendly enough. It even bobs its head in and out of the water at time as if it is expecting to be fed. Hopefully, the whale can learn to feed on its own, especially if it expects to survive on its own or as part of a larger community of beluga whales.
All in a Day’s Work
Regardless of where it came from, the whale seems happy to play with the locals and even help rescue a stranger’s phone from the icy depths of the harbor. The whale seems happy enough for now as it hangs out in the waters around the Hammerfest area.
The Encounter Caught on Film
Luckily for Ina, the whole event was caught on camera by one of her friends. The video has even become a viral sensation, garnering a variety of quotes from others on social media. Here is the video that Ina’s friend captured of the friendly beluga whale rescuing her iPhone.
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