Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dolphins Save a Man's Life

Surfer Todd Endris owes his life to a group of quick-thinking dolphins.

On August 28, while surfing in Monterey, California, Endris was suddenly attacked by a great white shark. The shark attacked him three times, hampered by the surf board Endris was on. But it managed to peel the skin off his back and mangle one of Endris' legs during the repeated attacks, though he was able to fight the shark by kicking it with his other foot.

At this point, a pod of dolphins appeared and surrounded Endris in a protective ring, which caused the shark to break off the attack. The dolphins' protection allowed Endris to get back on his board and to make his way to shore, where first aid was given while waiting for the helicopter which evacuated him to a hospital.

Six weeks later, Endris was well enough to return to surfing, though he is still undergoing physical therapy to repair the muscle damage he endured in the attack.

The behavior of the dolphins is not unusual -- there are countless cases of dolphins acting to protect humans in the water from marine predators, usually sharks. Sharks fear dolphins, which allows the dolphins to effectively help humans.

For some reason, dolphins like humans. They commonly follow ships at sea; hoping for a handout, I'm guessing. I remember my father telling me that one of his favorite activities was to watch the dolphins who followed his aircraft carrier when he was at sea during WWII.

As for me, if I ever go to Florida, the first thing I want to do is to go to one of those places where they let you swim with the dolphins. If any of my readers has done this, I'd like to hear about it.


Patty said...

What a wonderful story.

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