Animals are incredible, we all know that. However, this manta ray in the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia has exhibited some unbelievable behavior. The ray had been injured by fishing hooks, and had gone to a diver it knew for help, and if Jake Wilton, a local tour guide hadn’t been there to help, the injuries could’ve led to infection, blindness and possibly death.
The marine biologist on the boat Monty Halls states “That manta absolutely understood what was going on. Jake went down again and again and she just remained still for him.” Jake is a kind guide who always treats animals with respect. It is evident from this event that they treat him the same, and that’s what happens when respect is mutual.
Jake says that “I’m often guiding snorkelers in the area and it’s as if she recognized me and trusted 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 hooks out or she would have been in big trouble. I went for a few dives down to see how she’d react to me being close to her. The manta stayed completely still in the water.”
Even the expert marine biologists are amazed by this behavior, because a manta ray is one of the cleverest creatures on the planet, and they still didn’t expect this.
Marine biologist and university lecturer David Boyle said, “It’s pretty incredible behavior if this is what happened. It’s not uncommon for animals – generally mammals – to interact with divers but for one in distress to seek out assistance would be novel indeed.”