A giant manta ray was recorded appearing to seek help from a snorkeler in Australia to remove metal hooks from her face.
Stunning footage showed the 10-foot sea creature attempt to get the attention of the snorkeling instructor, Jake Wilton, in Ningaloo Coast reef near Western Australia, NBC News reported on Friday.
The manta ray, which is known by locals as Freckles, had large fishing hooks lodged close to her right eye.
“It’s very rare for an animal to turn and come back over to you and present themselves,” Wilton told NBC News. “So I knew as soon as she started to interact with us, it was something very special.”
Wilton said he quickly realized that the sea creature was in need of help — and removed the hooks.
“I wasn’t really thinking about anything else except trying to get them out,” he said. “I really didn’t want to mess it up.”
British biologist Monty Halls, who filmed the May 24 encounter, said that the manta ray appeared to put a lot of trust in the diver.
“I think the manta knew that Jake was trying to get the hooks out,” Halls told NBC News.
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