The beaches of Rio are normally filled with life and laughter, but as one of those lives hung in the balance, anxious beachgoers worked fervently.
A humpback whale was stranded on the beach, and hundreds had gathered to rescue the whale calf from certain death. At 32 feet long, even a baby whale is hard to move. Moreover, it weighed an estimated seven tons, and couldn’t escape the shallow waters as the tide receded from shore. .
The whale was washed ashore near the popular Praia da Marina beach in Búzios, Brazil.. Dozens of volunteers dug a channel to the ocean with shovels, working throughout the night, while others doused the calf with sea water to keep its skin from drying out.
A nearby marina dispatched one of their backhoe excavators the following morning to help make way for the whale to swim out to sea once high tide returned.
A bucket brigade of Good Samaritans helped keep the whale wet until then.
It wasn’t long before many others saw the action, and gathered around to help.
Hundreds of beachgoers had surrounded the whale by the time the tide finally returned. They gave the whale one final push, with all their collective might.
Using the excavator, rescuers were able to lift the whale into a giant sling and move it back into deeper waters. The beachgoers cheered, and many cried, as the once struggling whale suddenly sprung to life, back in the ocean.
When the whale calf finally recovered, it waved its fins and tail to those on shore, as if to say “thank you” for the help. Check out the emotional moment this little (but huge) baby whale was set free in the video below.
If only we as humans would come together for each other like these kind souls did for this whale, this world would become a much brighter place overnight.
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This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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