Grey Whale Asks a Boat Captain for a Little Favor

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By: Olawale Ogunjimi | Published: May 31, 2023

Yes, you read that right! A grey whale requested a little favor from a human friend. Well, maybe not with the use of intelligible and audible words, but this boat captain has come to understand the needs of his whale friends—call him the whale whisperer.  

Source: Jimenez Franco/Instagram

In this case, the familiarity is quite understandable because the captain in question has been a whale watcher for over 20 years. Also, Captain Paco Jimenez Franco’s theatre has always been on the coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. But how exactly did the whale reach out? Let’s find out!

A Rare, Budding Friendship

Marine biologists and other experts that study whales in the wild would tell you that seeing one is usually a million-dollar opportunity—they can be shy creatures. 

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Source: Jimenez Franco/Instagram

So, it was interesting to learn about Captain Franco’s friendship with a particular whale and its friends. It turns out, whales visit the Ojo de Liebre lagoon often, probably due to its low human traffic. 

Lounging With a Familiar Friend

After several years of visiting the lagoon to watch whales, the creatures cozied up to Franco, and would often swim up to his boat. Then, after a while, he noticed that things were not too well with some of the whales. 

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Source: Jimenez Franco/Instagram

Franco noted that some of these creatures had a marine parasite, whale lice, attached to their skin. He could not tell for sure if whale lice causes discomfort to whales. However, whenever a whale swims close enough, he assisted with removing some of the lice. 

Telling a Friend to Tell Their Friends

After helping a certain whale with its unwanted hitchhikers – lice – the creature made it a habit to visit Franco’s boat regularly. It doesn’t end there—some other whales have joined the first one on such visits. 

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Source: Jimenez Franco/Instagram

For Franco, doing the whales a service is definitely an honor. He sees the lice-removing effort as a way of paying the whales back for the gift of their trust. 

You Have Been Chosen!

In many parts of the world, humans are prohibited from coming in contact with whales. However, such rules are relaxed at the Ojo de Liebre lagoon as long as the whale in question initiates the contact. 

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Source: Jimenez Franco/Instagram

Franco is really glad to have been chosen by this school of whales as their trusted louse picker. He looks forward to helping more of his aquatic comrades.