Hump­back whales come to the res­cue

World of Animals - - Animal Kindness -

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”

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