Top Ten as of 1/15/18
*Great White Shark was demoted for inactivity, but can make it back onto the top ten at a future date.
Others still knocking on the door… Pig, Snow Leopard, Gorilla, Hippo, Rhino, Wolf, Yak, Raven, Swift, Mountain Lion, Leopard Seal, Komodo Dragon…and Red Fox, a new addition.
‘Man’ falls another two notches to No. 376
‘Red Fox’ would be No. 12 if you carried out the votes, having received a major boost from G.R., who notes it stays with its partner for life, and eats destructive rodents, like grain mice (No. 297) that in southern Australia, for example, have been destroying crops and such.
But the big story is the emergence of ‘Humpback Whale’…owing to a story from Alina Polianskaya of The Independent (U.K.):
“The moment a 25-ton humpback whale pushed (the diver) to safety from a 15-foot tiger shark was captured on camera.
“Biologist Nan Hauser was swimming off the coast of Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands, when the giant creature swam in to prevent a ‘potentially deadly’ attack.
“She said the encounter may be proof of a whale’s intuitive nature to protect other species, including humans.
“She believes this has never been captured on video before and could be the first ever documented case of a humpback whale guarding a human from a shark.
“The giant whale tucked the 63-year-old under its pectoral fin and pushed her along with his head and mouth for around 10 minutes, she said.
“She later realized that the 15-foot-tiger shark was nearby, and that the whale was steering her away from it. She had initially thought it was another whale until she realized it was moving its tail from side to side rather than up and down, she said.
“ ‘I’ve spent the past 28 years protecting whales, and in the moment, I didn’t even realize that they were protecting me,’ she added.”
Ms. Hauser admitted after that she wasn’t sure it still wouldn’t end up being a deadly encounter for her.
“I wasn’t sure what the whale was up to when he approached me, and it didn’t stop pushing me around for over 10 minutes. It seemed like hours….
“I’ve spent 28 years underwater with whales, and have never had a whale so tactile and so insistent on putting me on his head, or belly, or back, or, most of all, trying to tuck me under his huge pectoral fin.”
I’m going with the angle the whale was protecting Ms. Hauser.
Next ASL in a few weeks.