Can we live well on a specific island or on Earth in general without violating the respect of nature, or does the enjoyment of the universe around him necessarily mean that he eliminates many creatures and wreaks havoc on the earth? Is it possible to correct the matter and try to save what can be saved to stop the threat of extinction that threatens many organisms?
Several questions the movie “The Return of the Humpback Whales” – which was broadcast by Al Jazeera Documentary – seeks to answer them, in an interesting journey in which we follow a humpback whale since before its birth, and a sea turtle, two of the creatures that were threatened with extinction, before they reappear again, restoring hope to Our souls have the potential to stop the specter of extinction.
The visually entertaining and informative rich movie is set in La Reunion, a French island with a population of about 800,000, located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, one of the French overseas territories.
Sleep to male tunes .. A female break from Antarctica
A few decades ago, these creatures disappeared from the depths of the waters of Reunion Island, and only a few elderly people saw them, until we became suspicious of their stories, just as it was very rare to see a green turtle roaming the coral reefs, and since the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century, these giants of the sea (Humpback whales) Reunion Island undisputed celebrities.
After the establishment of a marine park in 1994, coral reefs were given a chance to rejuvenate, so that sea turtles had better living conditions that would enable them to grow, and they became subject to effective local protection that put an end to their poaching. As a result of these measures, in just 30 years, sea turtles are back in the water and their numbers are increasing year by year.
Is the return of humpback whales and sea turtles to the waters of Reunion a sign of the renewed connection between man and these creatures that are symbols of the oceans? Will it be the beginning of a new era for her and us?
Every July, more than 100 humpback whales meet on the western coast in order to mate, as this annual meeting raises a lot of expectations and feelings because it is an exceptional scene, and melodies of a serious and mysterious nature rise from the depths, heralding the return of humpback whales to the island Reunion, where the female rest after a grueling journey that traversed about 6000 kilometers from Antarctica, and from the severity of her fatigue she sleeps to the songs of adult males.
The weight of the female is 25 tons, but this does not hinder her, as she floats on the water as if it were a weightless feather, and the bumps that detail the distinctive identity of humpback whales contain hair, as if they are traces of the old days when humpback whales were wild mammals.Male whales sing for long days to attract the attention of the female
Gaining female friendliness … A deep ocean singing competition
Laura, a scientist with the Blue Peace Society, studies mysterious singing behavior in the animal world. She says that the humpback whale alternates between two rhythms, one high and the other low, and she calls his singing a complex but regular vocal syllable, and it is repeated in the form of sentences and sub-sentences that turn into hymns at sea level in an unparalleled manner among animals.
Laura asserts that only adult males sing with the aim of attracting females who choose them according to the strength of the song and its complexity, meaning that a very strong song means a great male with strength and good health, and thus he will be the best partner for mating and procreation.
A singing battle erupts in which a number of males compete, as their singing continues day and night, and they avoid very deep places, in order to be able to obtain the greatest resonance of their songs.
And when the time comes for the most important moment in the life of a female humpback whale, the one that blows life; She dives alone and disappears in the depths of the blue of the water, to reappear later again, but not alone, as she pushes her little one with the tip of her head to take his first breath and for the first time he tastes the taste of communicating with the world.Tipu Shun is a small whale calf born after the re-emergence of humpback whales
Tipu Shun … the first breaths on the blue planet
Here is the blue planet welcoming its new inhabitant, who bore the name “Tipu Shun”, and here it is submitting itself to the waves pounding it with its white and gray color, and its juicy, wrinkled skin.
Tipu Shun was born in the waters of Reunion Island in the heart of the Indian Ocean. This birth gives great hope for preserving biological diversity. It is clear proof that wild nature can enjoy its full rights while coexisting with humans.
From the first hours of his birth, his mother carried him to the surface to help him breathe, and this strong instinctive tenderness strengthens the attachment of the little one to his mother, and it is a very strong bond that will last for a whole year.
Tipu Shun spends most of his time in his mother’s arms. In this vast and sprawling ocean, there is no place in front of him to hide, so that the giant body of his mother remains his only refuge.A mother throws her milk into the sea and her infant has to pick up this milk that ensures its rapid growth every day
Concentrated whale milk … a mothers’ gift that is splashed in the water
Tipu Chun’s mother has not eaten anything since she left the waters of the Southern Ocean, as female whales stop eating during the period of giving birth and breastfeeding their young, and this is a huge challenge for an animal of this magnitude. During her stay in the waters of Reunion, she continues to live on her physical reserve.
In order to preserve the reserves in her body, she enters long periods of sleep during which she remains still and motionless in the open ocean, but her long breath that she holds for about half an hour is not comparable to the breath of her newborn “Tipu Sean”, which does not exceed a few minutes, and whenever she feels the need to breathe, It would rise to the surface to breathe, and it would take a few years to acquire the skills of its mother in the water.
After a few months, Tipu Chun’s mother will return to the South Pole with her baby, and when that time comes, his weight will have reached 7 tons, 10 times his birth weight.
Unlike the udders of wild mammals, the udders of humpback whales are invisible, as they are hidden in two small slits in the chest, so the mother of “Tipu Shun” drains her milk directly in the water, and her little one has to deal with drinking very thick milk that resembles cream, which is concentrated and full High in fats and proteins.
While swimming, the little one fills his mouth with water and milk, as his jaw bones filter him, and thanks to this food, his weight increases by 40 kilograms per day, and his growth increases by about 4 centimeters per day, and quickly turns into one of the giants of the seas.Little Nightmare is a turtle who survived 100 of its siblings, reached the ocean, and her story was part of the movie
“Little Nightmare” … a small coincidence that receives divers
Humpback whales are not the only ones returning to inhabit the waters of Reunion, another less exciting but no less wonderful animal has returned, it is the green turtle that was on the verge of extinction due to poaching and the erosion of its natural environment, but it has started to return since 2004.
A sea turtle wanders on the coral reefs. It has lived in the waters of Reunion Island for several years, so it is a familiar place for it, and divers know it very well, and they called it “Little Nightmare”, meaning the small shell in the Creole language of Reunion Island.
“Little Nightmare” is a beautiful green turtle with a wonderful brown shell decorated with white dots. This turtle was not found on the island of Reunion. And where sea turtles can still reproduce peacefully.The journey of “Little Nightmare” from its exit from the egg until its success in reaching the ocean
Turtle eggs … a battle against nature for survival
20 years ago, at midnight, the mother of “Little Nightmare” emerged from the depths of the ocean, dug with her hind fins a hole in the sand with great skill, after several hours she laid 100 eggs before gently covering them with a thick layer of sand.
Early in the morning, as soon as its mission was over, the daring turtle reached the ocean, leaving its eggs vulnerable in the hands of nature.
Thirty little green turtles emerged from the sand, and “Little Nightmare” was one of them. And if they remained together, the chances of success in reaching the ocean increased. The first hours after birth are the most dangerous moments for them. The natural selection process is merciless. Only you will reach adulthood.
Providence surrounded these coral reefs, thanks to which “Little Nightmare” survived the massacre committed by some crows and birds, but it is not yet safe, and it must resume its frantic race against time to reach the ocean.
And as soon as “Little Nightmare” succeeded in escaping this terrible ordeal, and after she traveled in the depths of the vast Indian Ocean, she let herself wander in its arms for seven long years, and one day the little green turtle landed in the waters of Reunion Island, where the coral reefs welcomed her, Little Nightmare accepted her stay.The marine environment and marine reserves contribute to the growth and reproduction of these organisms
The marine reserve … a safe haven and herbal food
The lifestyle of “Little Nightmare” is strangely similar to that of “Tipo Shun”, as she also needs to return to the surface regularly in order to breathe, but it is distinguished by its length that can last for several hours.
“Little Nightmare” spends most of its time eating, which is the approach taken by all herbivores that daily need enormous amounts of food.
The coral reefs of Reunion are not very rich in the turtle’s favorite plants, but that does not prevent them from settling here. Sea turtles have an amazing ability to adjust their diet according to the resources available in the spot in which they choose to grow.
Since the establishment of the marine reserve – which led to the halting of the coral degradation – in 2007, the conditions of the reefs have improved dramatically, and it is now able to provide sea turtles and coral reef inhabitants all the food they need and a safe haven to protect them from predators, and above all, the opportunity to fall asleep on their own. Fall whale songs.
The return of the whales … the fruits of global awareness and international decisions
Many wonder why the whales returned to Reunion after such a long absence, it is a question that has baffled scientists for a long time. Scientists “Virginie” and “Lauron” – a member of the “Blue Peace” association that has been studying whales since they began their return 15 years ago – spend long hours at sea monitoring, checking and documenting their behavior with their cameras, which remains the best tool for studying humpback whales.
The difficulty lies in photographing the inner face of the caudal fin, which is very important because it is like our fingerprints, and scientists are able to officially identify these animals, and thanks to this pictorial definition, scientists can count the number of animals present in the breeding season, calculate the duration of their stay and recognize who returns Them regularly.
In the first decade of the 21st century, scientists used to create 5 identification cards for humpback whales a year, and they were happy with that, but now they accomplish more than 100 cards, and the assumption is that they return to what they were before, and whaling rates have decreased dramatically, and thus it has lost The whales have focused their attention on a limited number of distinct places to spend their breeding season.
With the gradual cessation of whaling operations in the seventies, their numbers increased and returned to colonize the waters of Reunion, and within two years their numbers in Reunion tripled. International awareness played a major role in saving it from extinction by a decision taken in the last moments, and when the international community adopted the decision to stop whaling, it was The world has already lost 90% of humpback whales, before they gradually recover their former habitats.Marine creatures clean themselves or others from marine creatures such as seashells and plankton
Body cleaning … Baths in the depths of the ocean
The learning process continues for the humpback whale “Tipo Shon”, and in order to remain healthy, he must learn how to shed the small crustaceans that have been stuck with it during the past months. The whale is an integrated ecosystem that moves underwater, so getting rid of parasites is essential.
The strong friction with the surface of the water allows the entire whale skin to be cleaned. The little whale begins to master this mechanism, but in the depths of the ocean and out of sight, the mother of “Tipo Shun” teaches her young child the art of deep cleaning. Deep sand is a good alternative, so Tipu Shun and his mother have a gentle cleaning. As soon as the cleaning session ends, the mother performs mysterious harmonious dances under the gaze of her little one, and by balancing her on her edge, the huge body, weighing 25 tons and extending 15 meters in length, swings with the grace of a ballerina.
Little Nightmare also needs to clean her shell to stay healthy. Fortunately for her, she can count on the inhabitants of the coral reefs to get a gentle cleaning. With gentle kisses, young black fish surgeons polish her shell. Once the session is over, the little turtle leaves and its scales shine happily.Divers have a unique experience swimming alongside humpback whales
The inauguration of the first contact with humans … the fictional experience of divers
Like all small mammals, they are filled with boldness and curiosity, Tipu Shun, except that he hesitates to approach the swimmers who came to meet him, and remains hiding behind his mother, so that the mother initiates the first contact between her baby and humans, as divers dream of sharing a special moment with this wonderful animal, Symbol of beauty and life force.
Reconnecting with the wild world should be surrounded with the utmost respect. Nothing should be shown but kindness, and this is the way to enjoy this imaginative experience.
Sea turtles deserve more attention and respect, because they lack the defensive capabilities of the whales. In the waters of Reunion, the survival of “Little Nightmare” and its sisters depends on the men and women who watch them.
Again, on the beach of Reunion, an exceptional event is taking place, as the first green turtle to return to breed in the waters of Reunion Island has buried its eggs somewhere, and soon we will see Reunion small turtles emerging from the folds of the sand, which is the most beautiful reward for those working to save these turtles from extinction.Marine scientists created a database of hundreds of turtles
Turtle heads … a national identification card
A diver spends a long time photographing sea turtles in order to enrich the database of the Sea Turtle Observatory in Reunion. Scientists have asked divers to take close-up pictures of the head of each turtle they pass by. A unique thing that is not repeated for other turtles.
Officials of the observatory say that they have about 6,000 images taken by divers, and this has enabled them to identify 450 turtles in Reunion, a number that had never existed for nearly 50 years, that is, before awareness-raising operations to conserve them.
Now it can be said that everyone in Reunion is interested in preserving the sea turtle, so that even when one of them is caught by mistake, it is returned to the water again, even if the turtle requires surgery to preserve its chances of life.
Return home … a dangerous journey into the unknown
Within a few months, Tipu Shun will move from the warm waters of Reunion to the cold waters of Antarctica, which is a long and fraught journey. Before embarking on his journey, he must learn how to defend himself and impose his presence, so he imitates all the movements of his mother, and if he is better Controlling its tail fin, it would become a very dangerous deadly weapon, and the blow had to be as loud as possible for it to resonate several kilometers.
The fins of the giant pectoral mother are 5 meters long and one meter wide, and they can be used as huge paddles, as they lean on their back and strike the surface of the water relentlessly, and when they do this behavior no other animal dares approach, but these huge strikes are negligible compared to the mythical humpback whales , The one crowned by the “Queen of the Oceans”.
Little Nightmare is now of childbearing age, and the moment has come to leave. Unlike Tipo Sean, she has not received any education or experience transfer, but rather relies on her instinct to find the island of her birth that she left 20 years ago and never seen her again.
And now begins its great journey into the unknown, carried by the power of the currents, “Little Nightmare” is gradually moving away in the depths of the Indian Ocean away from Reunion Island. Will it reach its destination safely?Plastic, fishing line and other waste pose threats to marine life
Deadly waste remnants … Mother Nature’s distress call
Although sea turtles do not live in a closed environment, as the entire ocean is home to them, the danger is not far away. Fishing wire and plastic pose a terrifying danger to “Little Nightmare” and all the inhabitants of coral reefs, and the piles of debris that drift along the coast are no less dangerous to Small whales.
On their journey back to the frozen ocean, these whales swim with a mouth wide open and swallow all the waste they encounter, and plastic is not the only danger facing whales and sea turtles, as there is another danger represented in the boats that sometimes lead to tearing the bodies of these whales when colliding with these boats as they ascend to the surface To breathe.
If we want to protect these animals that are a symbol of the oceans, then we must change our behavior and stop polluting the environment, for charity to our Mother Nature by preserving it is a kindness to ourselves as human beings, so there is no equal to the benefits we reap from contemplating the splendor of nature.
“Tipu Shun” and “Little Nightmare” were destined to live roaming the ocean relentlessly, their journey in this vast world has just begun, and they need human protection and care to continue their lives, but what has been achieved in the waters of Reunion gives us hope that the whales and turtles will lead us towards better future.