Baby humpback whale has beautiful interaction with swimmers

Humpback whales are among the most beautiful animals in the ocean. They inspire awe and wonder in anyone who is fortunate enough to see one up close. These whales come to Tonga to breed and to give birth, in an environment that is safe from orcas and predatory sharks. The females have their calves in the waters that surround the beautiful islands of Tonga. They nurse them and protect them as they quickly grow big and strong before making their way to the colder waters in the north to feed on krill. The whales rest near the ocean bottom in bays around the islands. They come to the surface to breathe and then dive again. But the babies spend more time on the surface and they are curious when they see strange creatures like these humans swimming above. This baby is enormous, even at two weeks of age and he is playful. He rolled and cavorted and swam around the people, delighting them completely with the interaction. Humpback whales are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. As recently as 100,000 years ago, they were the smartest creatures in existence. Today, we are beginning to understand that we share the planet with remarkably complex and wonderful beings, and yet we exploit and hunt them to near extinction.