The whale that plays fetch is in danger, but there's a team working hard to protect him

The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.


Previously, it had been seen wearing a GoPro harness that read "Equipment St. Petersburg" which has since been removed.

The whale also has a team working to protect him.

The Advocates for Hvaldimir, with members from Norway and the United States, have been working to relocate him to another region of the ocean where he can, hopefully, become part of a pod.

RELATED: Amazing footage shows a beluga whale playing 'fetch' with marine researchers

Belugas generally live in pods of two to up to a hundred whales. Pods help protect the whales from predators and improve their hunting effectiveness. They also provide a sense of belonging for the highly sociable mammals.

"As advocates for Hvaldi, we realized this whale would never have the chance at survival, let alone a normal life, unless he is given the chance to be with a pod," Regina Crosby, co-founder of Advocates for Hvaldimir, who's been working on a documentary about the whale, said according to Good News Network.

"There are folks that claim no pod will accept him, but those same folks would claim a captive beluga can never learn to eat on their own. As Hvaldi has proven—that is not true!" she added.

RELATED: Speech pathologist teaches her dog to use a soundboard and now it communicates in sentences

"There are many many cases of orphaned or displaced dolphins and whales who join pods—even pods other species—to become a family. He deserves a chance," she continued.

The advocates want to relocate Hvaldi as soon as possible out of concern for his safety.

There is heavy fishing in the fjords where he currently resides and cod season is just beginning. Belugas can easily get caught and drown in the fishing nets because they must surface every twenty minutes for air.

"The 'good news' for now is that we have created a GoFundMe page with specific details about his situation," Crosby told Good News Network.

"It is really important to note that we are NOT working with ANY organizations who are involved in keeping whales or dolphins in captivity, or using them for entertainment; and we are not receiving funding from those companies," the group continued.

As of publication, the GoFundMe campaign has already raised just under half of its $10,000 goal.


popular


Hollywood is finally moving closer to equality. The past few years have seen a growing number of films starring, written by and directed by women. There's still a lot of progress yet to be made, of course. But there's one area where women have been kicking butt and taking names for decades: action films. Ironically, action films are stereotyped as the launching pad of the manliest of manly men: Schwarzenegger, The Rock, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone and so on. But some of the biggest action hits, both critically and commercially, are led by women.

If you're looking to expand your home video library for the holidays or just searching for a great holiday playlist while taking out some healthy aggression, here are 12 of our all-time favorite films featuring strong women front and center.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. It's a sad and heartbreaking experience, but there still is a lot to learn from going through something so tragic. Beyoncé recently shared what she learned from her miscarriages in an "ask me anything" published in the January 2020 issue of Elle Magazine.

A fan asked Beyoncé if she was disappointed she didn't win awards for Lemonade and Homecoming. Beyoncé said her miscarriages helped put it in perspective. "I began to search for deeper meaning when life began to teach me lessons I didn't know I needed. Success looks different to me now. I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift," she said in Elle Magazine.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Even though 68% of women in America where size 14 or above, plus sized women tend to draw more heat for the outfits that they wear, especially if those outfits are even remotely racy. Earlier this week, Lizzo was spotted at a LA Lakers game wearing the dress heard round the internet. Dubbed the "thong dress," Lizzo's t-shirt dress was straightforward in the front, but the back featured cutouts featuring her thong and fishnet stockings.

During the game, Lizzo twerked when the Laker Girls danced to her song "Juice," giving the crowd a full view of her ensemble.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The Miss America pageant was started in 1921, but women of color were barred from participating until 1940. It took another 30 years for the first black woman to participate in the pageant in 1970. In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win Miss America. Now, the winners of all four major beauty pageants are all black women.

Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa was crowned Miss Universe, making this the first time in history that Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe are all black women. Tunzi is the first black woman to win Miss Universe since 2011, when Leila Lopes took home the crown.


Keep Reading Show less