Many sea animals are alarmed by the human touch. They run away or go on a defense mode when they notice our presence. But this manta ray in the Ningaloo Reef sighted in Western Australia showed an unusual behavior than the rest.

A fishing hook injured this animal, and she was in a desperate need of help. And local guide Jake Wilton was at the right place at the right time. If he wasn’t there, the injury could have led to infection, blindness, and even death.

A marine biologist, Monty Halls stated in the video:

“That manta absolutely understood what was going on. Jake went down again and again and she just remained still for him.”

Thankfully this kind-hearted Jake treated the animal with respect, and he got the same love in return.

“I’m often guiding snorkelers in the area and it’s as if she recognized me and was trusting me to help her,” Jake said. “She got closer and closer and then started unfurling to present the eye to me. I knew we had to get the hooks out or she would have been in big trouble. I went for a few dives down to see how she’d react to me being close to her. The manta stayed completely still in the water.”

Generally, manta ray has a large brain in comparison to all the fishes and is considered one of the most clever aquatic animals. Experts were shocked by the loving behavior of the animal.

“It’s pretty incredible behavior if this is what happened,” said David Boyle, marine biologist, and university lecturer. “It’s not uncommon for animals – generally mammals – to interact with divers but for one in distress to seek out assistance would be novel indeed.”

And this incredible encounter was captured into the footage. See for yourself.

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