Ten years ago, in November 2000, a large humpback whale was found stranded on a beach near Ubatuba, Brazil, clinging to life in the crashing surf. A team of biologists, firefighters, fishermen and other volunteers worked for 12 hours to return her successfully to the ocean. Even so, they knew it would be touch-and-go for the oceangoing giant, and had no idea whether she would survive.
Then, two years ago, some of the same biologists who had taken part in the rescue spotted a large, healthy-looking humpback whale with coloring that was startlingly similar to the one they’d helped on the beach. They took skin samples and compared them to those taken from the stranded animal in 2000.
Now, after genetic analysis, it has finally been confirmed to be the same whale. Mission successful!
More on this story at Treehugger.
Photo: Katya Kroch