Friday, January 14, 2011

Having a whale of a time with a one tonne puppy - diver's dance with a cute cetacean


Flipper to flipper: Underwater cameraman Roger Munns gets up close and personal with the calf

An underwater cameraman has had a whale of a time while filming off the coast of Tonga.

Roger Munns was in Toku - a region of sheltered bays and inlets on the isolated Pacific Ocean island - in the hope of catching on film the mating rituals of giant humpback whales.

But while he was able to observe plenty of bulls competing with each other to win a mate, the star of Roger's production turned out not to be one of the fully-grown, 45ft gentle giants.

For while the heavyweight males were obviously too pre-occupied with their own love match, an inquisitive calf approached the cameraman looking for a playmate - and spent the next hour posing before the lens.

Roger, from Cornwall, said: 'I've heard about calves doing this but I was not prepared for the playful nature at all.

Getting the hump: The whale cavorted before the camera and appeared inquisitive about his new playmate

That's no bull: While the adult males fought for mating rights, the young calf was much more interested in playing

'He seemed to scamper towards us like a giant excited pony and wanted to play tag like a little puppy. I couldn't help but laugh as the calf kept bumping into me with an extremely naughty glint in its eye, but it was clearly in the name of fun.

'Up close you suddenly realised just how big it actually was. The games continued for an hour and I have to admit it was probably one of the most enjoyable hours I have spent in the water.'

Let's roll: The baby humpback enjoyed playing a game of tag

Role reversal: Normally behind the viewfinder, wildlife photographer Roger poses for the camera while exploring the waters around Tonga

source :dailymail

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