By Martin Ruffell
FOOTAGE shows the incredible moment two friendly whales allowed a group of whale watchers to pet them in the wild.
In a video taken in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur, Mexico, the mother and calf allowed a group of whale spotters to splash them with water and even stroke them.
The playful gray whales which can weigh up to 40 tons can be seen raising their heads above the water, encouraging those onboard the small vessel to shower them with affection, quite literally.
Photographer and biologist, Chase Dekker, who took the remarkable footage said, “They are so interactive and so playful, it is just a pure joy to be around them. To have a fifty-foot animal give you any time of its day is precious and makes me appreciate how sentient and intelligent they are even more.”
According to Dekker, the gray whales had travelled on an epic migration from the arctic of Alaska, down to the lagoons of Baja California to mate and give birth to their young. Speaking of the incredible temperament of the whales, he added, “What I love and appreciate the most is you don’t have to force yourself onto the whales, they approach you and want to socialise.”
With the added bonus of having his family onboard too, this is certainly an experience that will not be forgotten in a hurry. He added, “Everyone onboard was ecstatic and it was hard not to be. Everyone that comes to Baja to witness the gray whales hopes to have interactions like this, but it is never a guarantee.”