HAMMERFEST, Norway — “Got a whale of a tale to tell you, lads, a whale of a tale or two,” Kirk Douglas once sang in Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
Unlike the tales Douglas was telling, this whale of a tale is a true story, and there’s video proof.
In the video, you’ll see a boat slowly moving along snowy scenery in Hammerfest, Norway. Now videos of whales and dolphins following boats feel a bit “been there done that,” these days, but the whale following this boat has at least one exciting trick up his sleeve — he plays fetch.
No big deal; just a guy playing fetch with a beluga whale... 😮 pic.twitter.com/PdSNgVABIu— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) November 7, 2019
In this instance, he’s playing fetch with a rugby ball. A man on the boat throws it, and the beluga playfully brings it back. It’s the stuff that animated Disney movies are made of.
This particular beluga is actually a bit famous, and he’s looked after and protected by the good people in Hammerfest. His name is Hvaldimir, and his playful nature is well known by the town.
His story is a mystery, and began when he showed up in the bay wearing a camera harness. Once the harness was off, it was clear that the beluga was used to being around humans and decided to stick around.
The most popular theory is that the whale is Russian-trained to be a spy, which is how he got his name: hval=whale plus Vladamir (as is Putin).
Yesterday's Have You Seen This?
Despite the happy scene and Hvladamir’s reputation of being friendly to humans, it’s important to remember that this and all whales are wild animals. As such, it is the time in this article that we remind you to use caution any time you come across any sort of wildlife.