Tourists Spot Trapped Orca, Then The Unbelievable Happens

You’ve worked hard all year and you decide that after hours of slaving away you deserve a nice vacation. To be more specific, you decide that this is the year to go to an exotic destination where the water is crystal clear and the sun shines all day. Which spot do you choose? Indonesia! Sounds pretty normal and average, right? Well, not for these tourists! Just a few years ago, a group of friends packed up their bags to visit this Southeast Asian country, but when they hopped on a boat to see some famous attraction, they found something quite unexpected. The things they saw changed their lives forever, so don’t you dare miss this story!

Photo: Courtesy of World Lifestyle

#20. Pack Up Your Bags

Our story starts with a group of tourists who decided to head to Indonesia for some very relaxing vacations. Like every tourist out there, the first thing they did upon arriving at foreign territory was to ask around and find out which were the most attractive tourist destinations

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It wasn’t long before this group of tourists found some locals who gave them some advice regarding what they should do on the magical island. Can you guess what was the advice they were given? Keep on reading!

#19. Indonesia

While the group of tourists knew that they were in for a treat when they decided to venture out into the ocean to this remote country, they never really thought they would get to experience something as unique as what they did. Fortunately for everybody, they had a camera in hand to document their whole trip.

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If you go to Indonesia, you know it’s going to be exciting, especially if you decide to leave the bustling city behind to relax by the beach while you sink your feet in the warm sand. Indonesia is truly a multifaceted nation: not only does it offer beautiful beaches, but it also offers a rich culture and food that is out of this world.

#18. The Capital City

So at this point, we know that our group of tourists was ready to have a blast in Indonesia. They landed in the capital city, Jakarta, located on the island of Java. In case you didn’t know, Jakarta is a massive city and has a population of 9.6 million people.

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They went for some shopping to the 50-year-old Jalan Surabaya Flea Market and visited some of the city’s most iconic buildings, such as the Monas Tower and the stunning presidential palace, Istana Merdeka. But while they found this amazing, these guys were more fond of nature rather than city life.

#17. Day Trip Across The Sea

So after the first couple of days, they figured they’d had enough city life and asked the people at their hotel for some advice. They suggested them to take a day trip to the Thousand Islands, a beautiful island archipelago that is just a few miles off Jakarta.

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These friends didn’t doubt it for a second, so they packed their bags early in the morning, got on a boat and visited 5 of these islands, most famous for their white-sand beaches. They were impressed by so much beauty, and when they came back to the hotel, they were longing for more deep-sea adventure.

#16. Scuba Diving

The group of friends decided that they needed to leave Jakarta and head towards a more exotic destination. That’s when they decided to go scuba diving. They knew that Indonesia was full of amazing diving spots, but they wanted to go someplace off the beaten path.

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Therefore, they asked their friends at the hotel whether they knew some unusual island where they could go diving. There is no doubt that going scuba diving and experiencing the underwater world in Indonesia is incredible enough, but the tourists wanted to go someplace far from the island of Java.

#15. A Piece Of Advice

The friends were told that if they were aiming for some unusual life experience, they should head towards Lembata, a small island part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Lembata is most famous for its fishing villages but it’s also a great diving destination, plus, you’ll rarely find any tourists there!

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What’s more, their friends at the hotel told them this was the perfect place to hop on a boat to go and find orcas. By far, this was one of the coolest options they had in hand, so without hesitating, they decided to follow this advice.

#14. Talk To The Locals

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or you never really left the country, you should know that some of the best secrets of a new place are in the hands of the locals. So naturally, once they arrived at Lembata, these tourists decided to talk to some locals to see what was the most fun activity the island could offer.

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Now, it’s one thing if one local gives you some advice or some activity. But in this case, every local they talked to said the same thing. They all suggested that the best thing to do during their trip was for the tourists to rent a boat, head out to the ocean, and seek out some dolphins or orcas

#13. No Time Wasted

Well, the idea itself was enough to convince the tourists that the next activity on their itinerary had to be orca sighting. So rather than wasting time and juggling any other options from a traveling book, they decided that the next day would be dedicated to following the locals’ advice.

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Therefore, the first thing they did the very next day was to rent out a box as per the locals’ advice. The further they got away from the shore and closer to the deep dark ocean, they couldn’t stop thinking about how incredible it would be to be so close to an orca.

#12. The Captain Knows Best

These tourists were actually extra lucky. Not only did they get the best advice from the locals they could ever ask for, but also, they happened to have a great captain that knew exactly what routes to take for them to have the best experience.

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The captain of the boat was familiar with some extra special routes that would lead them to a spot where orcas would usually pop out of the water. With this new excitement at hand, the tourists were ready to see what Indonesia had to offer.

#11. Quick Finding

Once they got to that special area that the captain had told them about, it took no time for the tourists to find an orca. However, unlike the promises they had been given, the orca they spotted was not popping out of the water nor swimming around the boat.

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In fact, the orca they spotted was doing the very opposite of jumping up or swimming around. For some reason, it was not moving at all and both the tourists, as well as the captain, were unsure of what they were witnessing. The poor animal seemed to be stuck.

#10. Tangled

As the captain got closer to the orca to figure out exactly what was going on, he saw that the creature was tangled in fishing gear. To put this situation into perspective, these tourists had never before seen an orca in their lives, and the fact that the first one they saw was trapped in a net and had to be rescued terrified them.

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The tourists didn’t know what to do. To see an orca, which is also known as a killer whale, in such an anxious state was heartbreaking. How could such a huge mammal of immense force be debilitated by one of mankind’s tools to trap fish?

#9. Bravery

The tourists were looking and talking to each other feeling rather helpless. However, while they didn’t know how to react or what to do, one of the boat’s crewmen stopped hesitating. He took matters into his own hands and dived into the water.

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Seeing the poor orca in such a state was enough for the crewman to realize there was no time to be wasted. He needed to free this animal as soon as possible so that it could free itself from the fishing gear and swim back freely to its family.

#8. A Hard Task

At this point, you might be wondering if the orca was completely still or if it was thrashing around. Well, it happened to be struggling to get out of the fishing net by itself. However, whatever attempt it did was fruitless because it was getting itself more trapped than before.

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It was up to the Indonesian man to figure out a way to get the fishing net that was fully wrapped around the orca’s body off the animal. He had to somehow swim underneath the orca without getting hit and untangle the mess that the animal had gotten into.

#7. The Stick

Believe it or not, when the man jumped into the water next to the orca, rather than being greeted with panic and hostility, the orca was incredibly compliant. It knew that the man was there to help it be free from the fishing gear and that its task was to be calm and steady.

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So, fortunately, the Indonesian man was able to swim underneath the orca and get the fishing net off the orca with no major complications. However, the net was still in the ocean, so he asked his friends to help him retreat it from the water to prevent other animals from being trapped. They used a long stick to remove the net from the water.

#6. Goodbye

Once the orca was untangled from the mess of the fishing net, something unbelievable happened. After the net was finally removed from the ocean, everybody figured the orca would swim away as fast as possible. However, the large animal stayed where it was for a few minutes.

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In its own orca language, hanging around the waters around the boat for a couple of minutes was its way of saying thank you to the tourists and the man that had untangled it from the fishing net. So after doing so, it peacefully swam away into the deep ocean.

#5. A Moment Of Reflection

At this point, everybody was rather stunned. We go to these exotic places to experience nature without much reflection of what this implies. When you come across such a sighting, like an orca so unfairly trapped in something humans created, it’s inevitable to take a step back and rethink what we are doing.

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This is where you think about all the pollution we’ve caused on this Earth and what it implies for the other organisms that share this planet with us. Who knows what fate the orca would have had had the tourists never headed to the specific spot.

#4. Always Bring Your Camera

Just as we’ve said before, bringing their camera along with them was probably one of the best decisions that the tourists could’ve ever made. Without a doubt, this was an experience that needed to be documented and retold in the future. After all, releasing an orca into the ocean is not something you get to see every day.

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Also, how many people would have believed this incredible story if the tourists had not brought their camera with them? In this day and age, we’re always looking for proof to back up somebody’s stories, so thankfully, this was the case for our orca.

#3. Worth It

If there is something we can say for certain, it’s that these tourists definitely got their money’s worth. Sure, you usually get into these tourist trips without really knowing what you’re getting yourself into and unfortunately, it isn’t very uncommon to get ripped off or scammed.

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However, for our case, we could say that the tourists got more than what they paid for. They didn’t just see an orca up close or an orca swimming around their boat but rather they witnessed an incredible act of kindness and gratitude between two different species.

#2. The Downside

While this is a very fascinating story, it shouldn’t stop us from noticing the big problem that this story shines a light on. While Indonesian waters serve as habitats for dozens of cetaceans, many of these find themselves stranded in fishing nets.

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While the orca in our story was very lucky to encounter a person that could save it, many are not. To respond to this, the Indonesian government is establishing a network of first responders to deal with stranded mammals. Around 900 people have been trained in about 30 workshops around the country.

#1. Free At Last

For all of our animal lovers, worry not. This story has a happy ending and we are all very glad to say that. The previously tangled and suffering orca was set free for it to roam the ocean once again. While many of the animals that get caught in nets don’t actually get to be free, this is not the case for our orca.

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Not only was the orca set free, but this whole experience also turned out to be one of the best ones for the tourists. What they thought would be an ordinary vacation (well, maybe not so ordinary given they were in Indonesia), turned out to be a once in a lifetime trip.

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