While they used to be hunted for their blubber, skins and ivory teeth, the only people hunting whales today are tourists, researchers and sometimes a few media people. One of those media types, BBC presenter Steve Backshall, got a thrilling surprise while interviewing a whale expert off the coast of California. It's not something he's likely to forget, nor are the viewers who saw it unfold on live television.
Backshall is the host of the BBC program "Big Blue Live" and while he was filming an episode and doing a live interview with Dorris Welch, a biologist and owner of a whale watching company, he literally almost lost his mind over what showed up next to the boat. As if on cue, a large blue whale began swimming alongside the vessel. Alerted by the film crew in a helicopter overhead, Backshall, as any proper British citizen would, apologized profusely for interrupting Ms. Welch and went on to describe the whale, its features and habitat. The interview turned into an enthusiastic and delightful display of his love of the animals. Backshall has a background in reporting on sea animals and knows quite a bit about the near extinction and the recovery of the blue whale.
Blue whales are the largest animals in existence and extremely rare, especially around noisy boats and helicopters, but it became the perfect ending to the program which focused on the environmental issues that face these very special creatures. Watch the video yourself, the excitement is contagious!