That was snorkeling instructor Jake Wilton’s impression after he and a group of others were approached by a giant manta ray while exploring the waters off of Ningaloo, Australia — and it soon became clear what it was she needed.
After Wilton dove down to greet the animal, she revealed the source of her distress: several fishhooks embedded in her body.
Though a human was ultimately responsible for the manta’s sad predicament, she seemed to understand that Wilton would be kind enough to help. She was right.
Here’s footage of that incredible rescue:
As stunning as this scene is, it’s actually not the first time a giant manta ray has sought out the assistance of a person. A few years back, a similar scene unfolded near Costa Rica; the animal in that case had been entangled in a fishing net, and was saved by a diver.
Though these incidents speak volumes about the intelligence and understanding of these majestic creatures, there’s a more urgent takeaway to be gleaned.
Every year, countless marine animals are impacted by pollution and debris left behind by humans — and it’s only a fortunate few, like this manta ray, who will wind up being saved.