Moko the Mahia Dolphin to the rescue....
A dolphin has come to the rescue of two whales which had become
stranded on a beach in New Zealand.
Conservation officer Malcolm Smith told
the BBC that he and a group of other people had tried in vain for an hour and a
half to get the whales to sea.
The pygmy sperm whales had repeatedly
beached, and both they and the humans were tired and set to give up, he said.
But then the dolphin appeared, communicated with the whales, and led them to
The bottlenose dolphin, called Moko by local residents, is well
known for playing with swimmers off Mahia beach on the east coast of the North
Mr Smith said he gave the dolphin a pat to say thank youMr Smith
said that just when his team was flagging, the dolphin showed up and made
straight for them.
"I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," Mr Smith
told the BBC, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two
whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the
dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."
He added: "The dolphin did what we had failed to do. It was all over in a
matter of minutes."
Back at play
Mr Smith said he felt fortunate to have
witnessed the extraordinary event, and was delighted for the whales, as in the
past he has had to put down animals which have become beached.
He said that
the whales have not been seen since, but that the dolphin had returned to its
usual practice of playing with swimmers in the bay.
"I shouldn't do this I
know, we are meant to remain scientific," Mr Smith said, "but I actually went
into the water with the dolphin and gave it a pat afterwards because she really
did save the day."