As the people on screen cheer, you can’t help but feel a lump in your throat. In a world where compassion for animals often seems elusive, the heartening video shows hundreds of people coming together to save a stranded whale in Brazil.
Nearly 300 people on Rasa Beach in Armaçao dos Buzios, Brazil worked tirelessly for close to 24 hours to rescue a humpback whale baby that had become stranded on the beach.
Janet Tappin Coelho reported for Mail Online that the 32-foot-long cub washed onto the shores of the beach on the afternoon of August 23. The animal was spotted by some residents of the area. They found the whale alive, but struggling to breathe.
Soon enough, several beach-goers arrived with shovels, and started digging a trench around the whale, so that water could flow in during the high tide and help the whale cub float back into the sea.
A few boats also slung ropes around the whale, trying to pull it back into the water. But none of the efforts yielded results.
Many hours into the rescue mission, the fire brigade arrived speeding things up considerably. As the rescue spilled over into the next day, earth movers were pressed into service.
Through all of those hours, people formed human chains to gather buckets of water for keeping the stranded animal hydrated.
After 24 hours almost, the efforts finally bore result. With the help of ropes and diggers, the baby whale finally returned into the water. As it swam into the sea, jubilant rescuers, many of the them chest deep in water, whooped and rejoiced.
The air was rent with victorious applause as the baby whale raised its tail fin out of the water in a final wave to its saviours.
According to the biologists and environment experts on the scene, the humpback could have gotten separated from its group while on its migratory route.
Experts speculated that since humpback whales migrate off the coast of Southern Brazil at this time of year, the baby could have gotten lost after being separated from its mother and the rest of the group.