Whale vs. Jackass (Whale 1, Jackass 0 )

March 14, 2007 at 5:53 am | Posted in animals, News, social comment, stupidity | 4 Comments

As I was getting ready to leave the house, I switched on the television to get the weather report. I got a morning show that was covering a story about a man injured after he (and companions) paid to swim with humpback whales in the Dominican Republic. I don’t think the whales received any of the money or were even consulted.

The incident caught on video, shows a mother, with a calf on her back, sleeping near the water’s surface as the diver approaches close enough to touch the whales. What happened next is what anyone with half an ounce of common sense would expect; mom protected her baby from the intruder by slapping him with her tail. You could hear the bone crack as his leg broke. YOU GO WHALES! I think he got exactly what he deserved, and is lucky not to have been hurt worse.

The video then cuts to the boat, where the man is being transported to the hospital some distance away, where he underwent surgery under less than ideal conditions.

What I saw, to re-cap, was someone who wanted to swim with the whales, who had no respect for these magnificent creatures, and suffered the consequences for his arrogance and stupidity. When interviewed the man’s description of his ordeal was that he might have gotten too close and spooked the baby, which in turn spooked the mom causing her to hit him with her tail. He went on to talk about how he had to endure a long boat trip, in excruciating pain, to a primitive hospital. There he endured (yeah, he kept using the word endured, poor thing) three hours of surgery, where having no power tools, doctors sawed through the bone with a handsaw and used a hammer to pound the rod into the bone all while he was awake. Listening to him recount the story, I believe he felt like he’d been victimized.

He told the reporter that he would go back and, once again, swim with the whales. Too bad the mom’s tail didn’t get his head, might have knocked some sense into him. Even after this, he still doesn’t get it. If he didn’t have any respect for these animals, or nature in general, one would hope this experience might be a wake-up call. Some people just want what they want and anything else be damned. Now he has video, pictures, and an adventure to brag about to his friends and that is what really matters isn’t it?

According to the report, the Dominican is either the only place, or one of a small handful of places, where swimming with whales is legal. As they are endangered, it is believed this practice puts the humpbacks continued existence in further peril.


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  1. i always thought “whale watching” means to go where very rich peoples ugly monstrosities (they call them “homes” i think) spoil an otherwise beautiful countryside and watch them BBQ and hang out at the pool. maybe for an additional fee even go swim in the pool with them.
    ups – guess they wouldn’t like that ‘intrusion of their privacy’…
    but then – as animals don’t have souls (or do they, frederic?), why give them privacy?

  2. Just because an animal doesn’t have a soul doesn’t mean we should treat them bad or that they don’t feel pain.
    It’s definitely not how the bible portrays the issue. (read proverbs, much of that book shows that the way a person treats their animals is indicative of their goodness generally)

  3. Oh also. honjii, I totally agree on this one. Some people, I have found, will never see sense on some things…

  4. Once an idiot, always an idiot.

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