We are all so amazed when we see a whale in action, mostly in video.  Can you imagine the life experience of the people in the video that follows here, involved in saving the life of a young whale?  Enjoy this amazing story captured in video as they interacted with another species that we share this planet with in that huge creature . . .

or you can just click here: Whale rescue and a huge “Thank you!”

So, what do you think?  Yes, all creatures have some form of intelligence, but in this case (as in the gorilla/human interaction experience show in an earlier post here),  is this truly a whale knowing what his rescuers are trying to do for him and in the end, really showing signs of gratitude?  Was this whale showing a celebration of that new found freedom, and if so, was he doing it specifically to entertain his rescuers?  We know so little and with research with dolphins as another example, along with chance encounters like this one, we really do have to give that some thought.

I recently heard of a dolphin trainer who in “teaching” a young dolphin to follow hand signals, was using fish as a food treat to reward the dolphin for doing it right.   When the dolphins didn’t follow commands correctly, the instructor would step back from the pool and disengage in the interaction for a minute or so, giving the youngster a “dolphin time-out” as it were for its misbehavior.  Some of the reward fish were too large, so she cut them into three parts which the dolphin ate eagerly.  Except for the spiny fin part.  The instructor discovered that if she trimmed off that spiny fin the dolphin eagerly ate that part too.  When she inadvertently missed one and gave the dolphin a spiny fish piece, the dolphin spit it back at her and then backed up across the pool and waited, seemingly giving the instructor a “time-out” – could this really be happening?  The dolphin learning to punish the instructor from what she had done to it?  Over the course of several days, she tried it again and again, and sure enough, each time the dolphin repeated “the lesson” with the same “time-out” behavior.

So, what do you think about animal intelligence in light of these and so many other stories we all have heard or even experienced with your own pets, dogs and cats as an example in your home?

Just something to think about for your day today.  Have yourself another good one!