A friendly Beluga Whale was caught on video trying to get a seagull to play with him. The whale – nicknamed Hvaldimir – was spotted by Jan-Olaf Johansen off the docks in Hammerfest, Norway.
This particular Beluga made the news in Spring 2019 after he was spotted in Norwegian waters wearing a harness and showing no fear of humans. At the time, inspectors from the Directorate of Fisheries of Norway used a cod fillet to lure the whale to them and then removed the brace.
Since that time Hvaldimir hangs out in the waters near the harbor. He became known around the world when he retrieved a woman’s mobile phone after she accidentally dropped it in the water.
In his interaction with the seagull, Hvaldimir is very curious about the bird, although he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in the bird’s fish snack. In fact, at one point in the video he brings the dropped fish to the seagull to give it back to him!
He comes to the surface and pretends to mouth the bird, prompting it to drop the fish.
Hvaldimir interacts with the seagull several times, but the bird seems more alarmed that he lost his snack than by the large whale’s attention. Even when the beluga mouths the bird playfully as if he was going to grab him, the bird doesn’t fly away.
Towards the end of the video, Hvaldimir gently holds the fish out to the bird, as if extending an olive branch and to tell the bird it was all in jest. But the seagull decides not to take the peace offering and eventually flew away, according to Johansen.
Watch the cute video below.
If you have trouble viewing the video above, try the one below.
And here is the footage of the fisheries inspectors removing Hvaldimir’s harness a few months ago.
Although many people are interacting with Hvaldimir in a respectful manner, the whale’s friendliness could put him in jeopardy. He was observed in early September showing signs of injury from propellers in the harbor of Alta. He is also currently dependent on being fed fish by local marine biologists.
The Norwegian newspaper NRK reported that presently the whale’s care is currently in limbo, with authorities not taking any action at present as the whale falls into a legal grey area because although he is tame, he is not in captivity but free swimming and out in the wild.