Animals are wonderful creatures who are often smarter than humans believe them to be. No matter what species it is, most creatures have done something that’s amazed researchers or regular witnesses, including going to humans for help with problems they know they can’t solve.
That’s exactly what a giant manta ray off the coast of Costa Rica did after she was caught in a fishing net that was cutting into her skin. Divers that were exploring the surrounding waters were amazed when they saw the manta ray in the distance coming towards them but were shocked that she made a beeline towards them without diverting off-course.
Generally speaking, wild animals tend to keep their distance from humans as a way to protect themselves, but this manta ray sought out their services and headed straight towards them. She swam around them and got close enough for the divers to reach out and take the tangled net off of her body. Thomas Monteiro, who was present during the incident, told G1 Globo,
“It was the first time I saw a manta ray. There was a very profound interaction between her and the diver.”
Even after the encounter, the manta ray stuck around for about half an hour just swimming around the divers as if to say “thank you.” She then swam off into the abyss to continue on with her life, now unfettered by the pain of the fishing net. Brian Thompson, who is the diver that ultimately was able to release her from the netting, said longingly,
“I felt so strong a love for her and happiness to know that she was free and could enjoy her life again.”
Though brief, the moment was sweet and life-changing for both the manta ray and the diver. If one must interact with wildlife, this is the most positive way to do it, by only extending a helping hand when asked by a creature and allowing it to be free to live its life afterwards. Every human can take notes on this interaction in order to learn what a proper wild animal encounter should look like.
Watch the video below to see the full encounter.
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