A drone captured some rare footage of dolphins and migrating gray whales swimming together. The two species seemed to play and cavort with one another in an unusual display of friendship.
A pod of playful Pacific white-sided dolphins joined a couple of 30-ton gray whales on their annual migratory trip to Baja, Mexico.
The whales began their journey near Alaska and were probably happy to have the company of their marine mammal cousins. The dolphins leaped and surfed around the whales as the behemoths twirled and did the backstroke for their smaller playmates.
It certainly looks like both species were enjoying themselves.
After the whales reach Baja, they mate and give birth before returning to the northern Arctic waters. That's a 12,000-mile round trip!
Along the way, the whales face numerous threats, including orcas and getting tangled up in commercial fishing gear. Every year, dolphins and whales perish from such entanglement.
This drone footage was shot from Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari, which offers dolphin and whale watching trips from Dana Point, California. The whales are thought to use Dana Point as a navigational marker on their journey. They swim just a mile or two from the shore.
It's easy to anthropomorphize animals when you see them engaging in behavior such as this. It reminds us that humans and nature aren't as disconnected as our modern world might suggest.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.