Whale Shark Tangled In Deadly Rope Finds Just The People To Help
It's difficult to imagine a sight more humbling than coming face-to-face with one of the largest animals on the planet - and realizing that she desperately needs your help.
That's what a group of divers experienced while exploring the waters off the Roca Partida islands, some 250 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula.
Emerging from the murky depths beneath them, the group encountered a massive whale shark hopelessly wrapped in a thick rope that was strangling her body like a noose.
"It must have been there for some time, as the rope was encrusted with barnacles, and was cutting deeply into the flesh of the shark," wrote diver Noel Hall.
Rather than let the animal pass them by to carry on life in that way, the divers leapt into action to cut her loose.
Footage from the incredible rescue captures the moment the whale shark is able to swim without that deadly constraint.
The clip above, shot in 2012, has since seen a resurgence in popularity online - and for good reason. Though humans are no doubt responsible for the rope at the center of that whale shark's long ordeal, it was the prevailing call of empathy and kindness that ultimately set her free.
Sadly, not all creatures in such situations are so lucky to find help. Every year, more than 100,000 animals are killed by marine debris.