Moko, the playful New Zealand interactive dolphin who has been delighting local residents and swimmers at Mahia on the North Island throughout the southern summer, has achieved a world first by rescuing two stranded whales.
Attempts by human rescuers to stop the whales from repeatedly stranding themselves on a sandbank off shore by simply pushing them away had failed. Whales and humans were tired and the next option being considered by the officials was 'euthanasia', when Moko showed up. Minutes later, the whales were quietly following the dolphin out of danger. The local conservation officer believes that Moko 'talked' to the whales and coaxed them to relax and trust her. See the full story on the Independent website.
Anybody remember Marra, supposedly 'trapped' in Maryport harbour, Cumbria, in 2006? The same method of gentle in-water persuasion was suggested by Ute Margreff when she went there to offer her help in guiding Marra out to sea.. The self-appointed 'rescue' team's answer was no, that would 'undermine' their hard work, and they ordered her not to get in the water or go near the dolphin. Instead they terrified the dolphin with underwater sounds, deliberately let off scuba canisters underwater in order to frighten her out, herded her with boats and eventually when all that only succeeded in panicking her, trapped her in a net, strapped her to a stretcher, lifted her out of the water with a crane, loaded her into a boat on a trailer, drove the trailer to a slipway, launched the boat with the dolphin still in it, drove 3 miles out to sea and then dumped her overboard! All this in order to get the dolphin 'out of danger', as they bizarrely put it.
Of course, Marra soon found her way back into the marina, and showed that she was never trapped there in the first place.....But maybe we could learn a thing or two from Moko the dolphin?
Marra died a few months after this trauma was inflicted on her, of unknown causes.