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.


True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

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Dr. David McPhee offers advice for talking to someone living in a different time in their head.

Few things are more difficult than watching a loved one's grip on reality slipping away. Dementia can be brutal for families and caregivers, and knowing how to handle the various stages can be tricky to figure out.

The Alzheimer's Association offers tips for communicating in the early, middle and late stages of the disease, as dementia manifests differently as the disease progresses. The Family Caregiver Alliance also offers advice for talking to someone with various forms and phases of dementia. Some communication tips deal with confusion, agitation and other challenging behaviors that can come along with losing one's memory, and those tips are incredibly important. But what about when the person is seemingly living in a different time, immersed in their memories of the past, unaware of what has happened since then?

Psychologist David McPhee shared some advice with a person on Quora who asked, "How do I answer my dad with dementia when he talks about his mom and dad being alive? Do I go along with it or tell him they have passed away?"

McPhee wrote:

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