There is a beluga whale named Hvaldimir that was sighted near the North Pole. It plays fetch. Seriously.
Hvaldimir is the name of a beluga whale that has been referenced as an "escaped Russian spy whale." Right away, you've got to be skeptical. Yeah, we are too.
A crew of South African filmmakers in the process of filming a documentary was traveling the icy waters near the North Pole. They came across this startling discovery: a medium-sized beluga whale that was more than interested in a game of fetch.
Sherri-Lyn Croucamp posted the video to Facebook--though she does not take credit for it--and has since said that, in an update, "I have found out that this gorgeous whale is from near Norway and is named Hvaldimir. He has been referred to as the escaped "Russian spy whale." It is likely that Hvaldimir's training would have included being rewarded with food when retrieving objects."
So maybe there actually is some truth to the story? Others are familiar with the whale, reportedly residing near Hammerfest, a coastal area in northern Norway.
Now the concern is for a creature that may not have the capability to survive in the wild, thanks to acts by the Russian military. A friendly beluga whale isn't exactly a safe one.
You can't believe everything you see on social media, but this seems to be legit.
Here's the viral video:
UPDATE: I have found out that this gorgeous whale is from near Norway and is named Hvaldimir. He has been referred to as the escaped “Russian spy whale”. It is likely that Hvaldimir’s training would have included being rewarded with food when retrieving objects.Hvaldemir is in need of assistance. Regina Crosby has been filming a documentary about his journey since summer. Unfortunately during filming she learned that he is in a lot of danger due to his location. The threats to him are heavy commercial fishing using large nets that he can drown in (which just started this month); incoming Killer Whales (that come into the fjords during the winter; and finally, the salmon farms are not happy to have him bothering their salmon. So someone could do possibly do harm to him if he is seen as a problem. She is very concerned, as are many of the local Norwegians who love him. She has been working with the locals and they have permission to move him, so recently she has reached out to environment groups to help move him to a pod of belugas, where he can hopefully be protected in a pod, and live in an area where there is no fishing or salmon farms, and he will be safe. She has enlisted whale experts as volunteers who are willing to help relocate him if they can find funding. She has been having a very hard time getting any help. The country of Norway has indicated they will not support it financially. If you are in a position to assist Regina with her quest to save Hvladimir please contact her https://www.facebook.com/reginacrosby or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Instagram page @AdvocatesofHvaldimir.Playing fetch with a Beluga Whale as you do. How sweet is this?!The video is of a South African crew enjoying the company of a Beluga whale, while sailing near the North Pole. I did not take this video, nor do I know who took the video, but wanted to share an extraordinary moment caught on camera.
Posted by Sherri-Lyn Croucamp on Thursday, November 7, 2019
Why is there a lone beluga whale playing fetch with a rugby ball in Norwegian waters?
Croucamp has stated that filmmaker Regina Crosby has been at the forefront of the Hvaldimir Foundation, working with locals and other environmentalists to secure a move of the beluga whale to a pod of wild whales where he can be safe from fishing nets and salmon farmers.
Here's hoping that Hvaldimir can make it safely to the open ocean to live his life as it was meant to be.