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Dolphin Stampede, Whale Snuggling Video: Drone Provides Awe-Inspiring Views

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This video, created by Captain Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, uses drone technology to give a birds-eye view of a mother snuggling her newborn humpback whale calf near Maui, migrating gray whales near the coast of San Clemente, Calif., and a pod of thousands of dolphins stampeding close to Dana Point, Calif.

“I learned so much about these whales and dolphins from this drone footage that it feels like I have entered a new dimension,” Anderson reports on his YouTube page. “I have not been this excited about a new technology since we built our underwater viewing pods on our whale watching boat. Drones are going to change how we view the animal world.”

It’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of the natural world seen from this view, which explains why this video has been shared and viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted on Feb. 25.

Anderson reports that the drones were launched off an inflatable boat with a fair amount of risk involved. One drone was lost on takeoff and another crashed into the water after filming (he jumped in, fully clothed, to retrieve the footage).

One note to would-be whale-filmers from Anderson: it is illegal to do anything that causes whales to change their normal behavior and breaking the law comes with hefty fines. The authorities do watch YouTube.

“I am a whale watch captain with nearly 20 years of experience. All laws were obeyed by us during filming,” he said. “In Maui we sat watching whales from a distance for hours before they moved closer to us. You can never approach them there closer than 100 yards.”

—Sean McCoy

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