Are you speaking the right language?

Mar 12 2008 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Here's a wonderful life-and death story with a difference which underlines that however hard you try to achieve something, it can often be impossible without good communication.

And luckily for the protagonists involved, Moko the dolphin obviously speaks whale.

Malcolm Smith, a conservation office in New Zealand, had been working for over an hour and a half to save the two pygmy sperm whales which had repeatedly become stranded despite his attempts to push them back out to sea.

Just as his thoughts turned to a tragic outcome, a bottlenose dolphin, named Moko by locals, appeared on the sceneÖ..

Smith said Moko arrived on the scene and he could hear the whales and the dolphin making noises, apparently to one another.

"The whales made contact with the dolphin and she basically escorted them about 200 metres (yards) parallel with the beach to the edge of the sandbar.

"Then she did a right-angle turn through quite a narrow channel and escorted them out to sea.

"There's been no sign of the whales since Monday, they haven't restranded."

"What the communication was I do not know, and I was not aware dolphins could communicate with pygmy sperm whales, but something happened that allowed Moko to guide those two whales to safety."