January 25, 2013

An Underwater Dance For Freedom

I just watched one of the coolest videos I have seen in a long time. In it, Man and Nature meet for an incredible experience. Plus, it has a dolphin, and who doesn’t like dolphins? The New York Daily News recently had an article about this truly amazing video. In it, viewers see one experienced diver save a dolphin in need.

Now, that is definitely cool in my book, but the coolest part of this whole video is that the dolphin sought out the diver’s help. It “asked” for the diver to help it. So awesome. Here is the story. A group of trained, professional divers went out for a night dive to watch the manta rays on January 11, 2013. While enjoying the amazing sight of the manta rays feeding on plankton and swimming around, the divers noticed a dolphin, and the dolphin noticed the divers.

Then the divers realized that the dolphin’s swimming movements were definitely restricted and awkward. Furthermore, the dolphin clearly swam and hung around the divers themselves. It even turned so that the divers could see that it was tangled in a fishing line, hook embedded in its skin. The dolphin most definitely turned in front of the divers, and viewers can see this happen on the video. Truly incredible.

Oh, and then to make this video even cooler, when one of the divers motions for the dolphin to come near him so that he can help, it does. The dolphin understood the hand motion and went right to the diver, Keller Laros. Laros then assessed the situation, saw that the hook was stuck in the dolphin and the fin was wrapped in the fishing line, and he immediately took action.

As I watched the video (and so can you if you click on the above hyperlinked phrase), I saw Laros begin to unwrap and try to free the fin. When that was not enough, he took out a knife and started cutting the wire. And the dolphin did what it could to help. The dolphin actually rolls and moves to get in a good position for Laros to cut the fishing wire. Through a delicate dance, the man facilitates the dolphin’s freedom, and the dolphin trusts the man to help.

I still cannot believe the situation. The fact that the dolphin is smart enough to seek out help, communicate its need, and even maneuver itself so that it can best receive help is absolutely inspiring. Moreover, the effort that the divers put into helping this sea mammal is, without a doubt, heartwarming.

This is just another example of how beings other than animals communicate. More importantly, this is an example of the importance of respecting all of Nature. The dolphin was tangled and stricken by man’s fishing equipment. I can’t help but wonder how that happened. My gut tells me that it was probably discarded irresponsibly into the ocean or else left untended or even purposefully placed to ensnare the dolphin. Of course, it is possible that the dolphin came upon the fishing wire by accident, but that is less likely than the negligent or purposeful possibilities.

No matter how the dolphin became tangled, it sought help, and man answered. If it was man’s negligence or irresponsibility that caused the problem, man made up for it when Keller Laros stepped up and helped the sea mammal out.

I am inspired by the dolphin, who asked for help, and Laros, who answered. Today, my heart is filled with hope for the future of Nature and Man and their relationship.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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