Humpback whales come to the rescue
Female humpback whales will defend their calves from attackers, but they’ll also protect other calves in the pod. This system of reciprocity makes sense; if every adult in the group looks out for every calf, each mother stands a better chance of keeping her offspring safe.
What has baffled researchers is the fact that there have been multiple reports of humpback whales intervening when other species are being attacked by orcas. They seemingly stand to gain little from putting themselves in harm’s way to help these animals, so altruism can’t yet be ruled out as a motive.
“There have been reports of humpbacks intervening when others are attacked”