Animals and humans may not speak the same language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate.
In this astonishing video filmed near Ningaloo Reef off the coast of Western Australia, a giant manta ray is shown approaching a group of snorkelers and asking one of them for help by approaching him and showing him her injury. The manta ray had a hook stuck in her underneath eye, and was trying to call attention to it. Taking the cue, Ningaloo Marine Interaction wildlife guide Jake Wilton gently removed the hook and photographer Monty Halls caught the moment on tape.
Wilton himself said, “I’m often guiding snorkelers in the area and it’s as if she recognized me and was trusting me to help her. She got closer and closer and then started unfurling to present the eye to me. I knew we had to get the hook out or she would have been in big trouble. I went in for a few dives down to see how she’d react to me being close to her.”
The manta ray stayed still for Wilton to help her out — an unexpected behavior for any animal in distress.
This particular manta ray is well-known by divers in the area and has been affectionately named Freckles.