Saving an animal always requires giving something of ourselves – our time, our money, our energy, sometimes even our safety. Even saving a puppy from some ‘Lost Dog’ flyer requires a lot of time, energy, and dedication. Now imagine what it would take to save one of the largest mammals on Earth – a beached baby whale, weighing several tons.
Residents of Armaçao dos Buzios, Brazil discovered the 32-foot long baby whale, on the afternoon of August 23rd. The residents immediately took action, recruiting additional help, sourcing resources to aid in the rescue, and then working tirelessly for nearly 24-hour hours to return the baby whale to its natural environment.
A crowd of 300 large-hearted human beings came to the imperiled whale’s aid, forming a human bucket brigade to keep the whale wet, while other rescuers dug a trench back to the ocean, as quickly as possible. Helicopters, tow ropes, even earth movers were employed, to help the several ton sea-dwelling mammals get back to the waves. While none of those efforts were effective, the arrival of a fire brigade greatly accelerated the rescue efforts with additional manpower, tools, and resources.
The on-going efforts finally paid off, nearly at the 24-hour mark, when a combination of ropes, slings, and a digging machine was able to get the whale pup back into the water. Rescuers were still concerned, however, as the pup was still in shock, not making any motion to get itself back to deeper waters. Suddenly, the baby whale rejuvenated, splashing out to sea with a farewell flip of the tail to the hundreds of rescuers, many of whom were in the water, clapping and cheering.
Watch the uplifting video below, and try not to get choked up. In a world where it sometimes seems like it’s every mammal for themselves, these 300 Brazilian rescuers give us hope for humanity.