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Seal and Diver Share Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience During Ocean Dive!

Sherry Rucherman

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When it comes to the ocean, there are two types of people. You either love the depths of the ocean and all the wondrous beauty that lives in the water, or you are terrified of it. No matter which category you find yourself in, you’ll want to keep on reading! Today, we are going to introduce you to diver Gary Grayson and the life-changing encounter that he had with an adorable seal. If you were interested in the ocean before, after this story you are going to be obsessed!

Wondrous Story of the Ocean

Today, we are going to be donning a digital wetsuit in order to explore the deep blue sea. We are going to be joining a group of divers, led by Gary Grayson, as they navigated the waters off of the Isles of Scilly, located in southwest England just off the coast of Cornwall. 

Exploring the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are located just off of the tip of Cornwall in England. An archipelago with multiple islands, the Isles of Scilly is comprised of five total islands and a handful of small islets. The waters surrounding the Isles of Scilly are known for being a haven of natural ocean wonder. As you’ll soon find out, a diving expedition off of the Isles of Scilly can be quite a lifechanging experience!

Seeing the Ocean Up Close

Gary Grayson came to the Isles of Scilly by way of Worsley, England. Grayson and his pals had gone on a vacation in order to explore the region. They wanted to take time during their trip in order to go scuba diving. While Gary and his friends were expecting to see wildlife, they didn’t know what to expect during their adventure. 

What Could They Find Down There

Even though Gary was excited to take in the natural wonders lurking below the ocean’s surface, he was also interested in seeing if they could locate a shipwreck. According to research performed by UNESCO, there are an estimated 3 million total shipwrecks spread throughout the ocean. A few famous shipwrecks include the Titanic, the fleet of Kublai Khan, and the Spanish galleons that had sailed between Spain and America.

Different Kind of Adventure

While many divers set their sights on hidden treasure, others like to focus on interacting with the local wildlife. For that reason, many people end up going to the Isle of Scilly in order to dive with the seals. Seal diving is incredibly popular in the region, though you had better go diving with a professional in order to ensure your safety. Remember, you are diving into potentially dangerous waters! Your safety isn’t going to be guaranteed.

Making Friends Beneath the Surface

Even though Gary and his friends had hoped to catch sight of some sunken treasure, they were ecstatic to be greeted by something quite different! After leaving their boat, Gary and his team came upon a couple of wild seals. Right away, Gary could tell that something was different about their interaction. We’ll get more into that soon.

Seals Aren’t Always Nice

Even though seals are adorable, we have to remind everyone that they are wild animals. Wild animals don’t behave by human standards. They don’t follow rules and their space should be respected. If a wild seal swims up to you, you had better think twice before engaging. Every seasoned diver will tell you to leave wild animals well-enough alone.

Seals ARE Wild Animals After All

While Gary knew that he shouldn’t engage with the seals, they were behaving in an exceptionally friendly manner. In fact, as the two seals drew closer to Gary and his friends, they began to notice something quite odd. The seals seemed like they wanted the attention of the divers! What could this mean?

Staying Calm During the Encounter

As the two seals approached Gary, the divers did their best in order to stay calm. Any outward expression of nervousness could end up signaling a threat to the seals. The last thing that Gary wanted to do was startle a wild animal while he was in their natural habitat. Still, Gary made sure to get his camera rolling and for that reason, we have these stunning photographs!

Navigating Potential Danger

The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet. While humans have adapted to being in the water thanks to our technology, we are not natural members of that ecosystem. As a result, any time that we place ourselves in the ocean, we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. Even though Gary Grayson was a seasoned wildlife videographer, he was still unprepared for the event playing out before him.

Gary Kept the Camera Rolling

Even though Gary didn’t know WHAT to do, he knew he had to capture it all on camera. Gary had shot video of wild animals all around the world. Now, he was getting his chance to capture some stunning footage in a situation that few other divers would ever get to experience.

They Were Seal Pups

Remember how we thought the seals looked a little odd? Well, as the animals swam closer to Gary and his friends, they came to a sudden realization. The seals weren’t just small, they were young! Gary and his friends had stumbled across a pair of young seals who were as curious as they were nervous. 

The Seals Are Incredibly Friendly

Even though young seals are supposed to be incredibly skittish, these animals didn’t shy away from Gary. Instead, they slowly got closer and closer. Pretty soon, Gary was able to see their eyes and feel their snouts as they brushed against him. They weren’t afraid at all even though he had been told that seal cubs were extraordinarily skittish.

A New Type of Situation

Before long, the seals were swimming between the divers in order to greet them all. The seal cubs were behaving like young puppies that were desperate for some extra attention. Gary knew that the seals were being playful, but he also realized that he couldn’t let his guard down. One wrong move could send the whole experience shattering to the ocean floor.

Behaving Like Young Puppies

The seals continued to circle Gary and his friend as they became more and more relaxed. The seals grew increasingly brave and before they knew it, they were face to face with the creatures. Gary noted during this experience that the seals totally were acting like ‘water dogs’, right down to their puppy eyes and pokey whiskers.

Is This Really Happening?

As Gary and his friend grew more comfortable with the water dogs, they began to pay attention to little details that they hadn’t noticed before. While the seals had been taking turns swimming beside them, they had also been sending a signal. Gary couldn’t believe what was going on in front of him.

Did We Just Become Best Friends

Wild seals are notoriously flakey when it comes to remaining in the presence of humans. As an animal always on the run from massive predators, we guess it is understandable that the seals wouldn’t want to be too friendly. For that reason, Gary’s experience was made all the more fascinating. The seals would reach out with their flipper in order to try to hold or touch Gary. They weren’t swimming away. They were playing together!

Noticing A Stunning Pattern

As their time together lengthened, Gary began noticing a pattern. Every time that he would pull away from the seal, the creature would reach out with his flippers in order to keep him close. Fearing an inadvertent scare, Gary decided to let the seal lead the dance during their wordless conversation. A few moments later, the seal was using Gary’s hand to pet himself!

Humans and Nature Interacting

Whenever you see animals and humans interacting in the wild, you have to be careful. It only takes one wrong move for a pleasant encounter to turn into a dangerous one. With that being said, it was impossible for Gary to ignore how friendly the seals were being. They were rapidly gaining the trust of the animals in a way that seemed almost unbelievable!

Understanding the Seal’s ‘Aggression’ 

As Gary let the seal lead the dance, he noticed that it would gently bite his palm. Now, seals can be incredibly dangerous when they sink their teeth into something, but that wasn’t the case here. Instead, the seal was gently holding Gary’s hand as if it wanted to give him comfort or even ask him for something. The second seal lingered back, watching on with round eyes.

Graceful in the Water

When a seal is underwater, it can appear graceful even with its odd shape. Outside of the water, seals look intimidating and vaguely funny. Their little waddle on land can hide the fact that seals typically have no problem becoming aggression. If you see a seal sunbathing on a beach, let the animal be!

A Misunderstood Creature

When seals are still in their pup stage, they tend to stick close by their mother. In fact, newborn seal pups will stay for around four months with their mother before daring to swim off for their own adventures. That meant that Gary was either in the presence of curious seals on their first adventure or an angry mother was lurking nearby.

Why Was the Seal So Outgoing

Thankfully for Gary, the seals weren’t in the presence of their mother, as far as he could tell. Instead, the seals seemed genuinely curious. It was likely that they were on one of their first trips around the water without their mother by their side. Talk about getting lucky, right?

Behaving Like the Family Dog

Fortunately for Gary, the two seals were at an age where they would be learning to explore on their own. Gary and the seals began to enjoy closer interactions, culminating in Gary petting the seal as if it were his own dog. It was when Gary went to rub the seal again that something amazing happened.

The Encounter Winds to an End

In nature, most encounters between a human and a wild animal will be brief. For Gary and the seals, the encounter seemed to stretch on and on. Shockingly, the seals didn’t run for the hills soon after initiating their meeting. Still, Gary started to steel himself for the departure of the beautiful creatures.

Only The Seal Isn’t Finished

Only instead of winding down, the seal did something that was impossible to believe. As Gary continued to rub the seal on its head and back, the seal crept closer and closer to the ocean floor. The seal continued to guide Gary’s hand toward the ground. Gary and his diving companion couldn’t understand what was going on. Was the seal just being a little goofy? 

A Stunning Revelation

Once the seal reached the ocean floor it abruptly rolled over onto its back. Instead of letting Gary pull his hand away, the seal instead pushed his hand onto his belly. As it turned out, the seal wanted some belly rubs. If you were to dream up this exact situation, we would have told you that it was impossible!

Reveling in the Pats

As the action clicked inside of Gary’s head, he began to rub the seal’s round little belly. Just like a dog or cat, seals like having their belly rubbed or scratched from time to time. Can you imagine jumping into the ocean with your friends only to spend your time scratching the belly of a massive seal? That’s definitely a special experience.

A Few Chin Scratches For Good Measure

If you get the chance to watch the video from Gary’s excursion, you’ll notice how ‘into’ the experience the seal got. In fact, after Gary began to scratch at the seal’s stomach, its eyes began to relax just like you would expect from your dog. It really was true! Seals are the dogs of the ocean.

Gentle Nibbles of Appreciation

After a moment, Gary realized that the seal wanted something else from him. Gary stopped rubbing the seal’s belly and as he did so, the seal pushed its chin into his hand. That’s right, the seal wanted chin scratches as well! What’s more, the seal was so relaxed that it appeared to be smiling.

Gary Waves Goodbye

While Gary was busy petting one of the seals, the second seal had begun to circle around Gary’s feet. The second seal was far more skittish than the first animal, though it warmed up as their interaction lengthened. By the end of the excursion, the second seal was all bout curled up at Gary’s feet.

Gary’s Video Goes Viral!

There are countless shared experiences between man and animal every single day. The vast majority of these experiences are not captured on camera, especially high-definition footage. Thankfully, Gary uploaded the video of his meeting onto the internet and the clip quickly went viral. Grayson was featured on YouTube before getting interviewed on the Manchester Evening News. Gary would reveal during the interview that other seals had passed them by but that these two cubs were incredibly curious.

Chance of a Lifetime

Gary went on to reveal that he had been trained to sit in the kelp in order to be more welcoming to potential seal cubs. Gary said in his interview, “The more still we were, the more inquisitive this seal was because we were in their world.” Gary and his friend also mentioned that it was vital that they stayed calm during the meeting.

Remembering the Encounter

While Gary had plenty of experience as a diver, he had never planned on encountering an animal like that. Gary went on to say, “I’m an experienced diver but I have never known anything like that.” Gary went on to describe how he had been everywhere from Mexico to Cuba, and he had swum with giant mantras and sharks, yet no experience had stuck with him like this one.

Would You Like To Meet a Seal

While it is impossible to guarantee that your experience will be similar to Grayson’s, diving with the seals is entirely possible. The Isles of Scilly offer extensive chaperoned diving experiences that visitors can pursue. Of course, there are plenty of other places to go diving with the seals. Research diving teams local to the ocean near you!

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Animals

Breeder names puppies of new litter after 9/11 canine heroes

Leslie Tander

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Every year on September 11, people across the country take time to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day and one dog breeder in Michigan is honoring some of the heroes in their own special way.

Eight new Labrador Retriever puppies were born in a single litter beginning late Monday night into to Tuesday on September 11, 2018, in Dryden, located in Lapeer County. To pay tribute to the heroes of the tragedies that happened that day in 2001, the owners at Tall Pine Labradors LLC made the decision to name each dog after one of the canine heroes from that time.

Salty was a guide dog who led his owner to safety from the 71st floor of the North Tower in New York City on 9/11 so the breeders gave the firstborn puppy, born at 7:50 p.m. Monday evening, his namesake.

At 8:43 p.m., the second dog of the litter made his appearance into the world and was named Jake in honor of a search and rescue dog who worked hard for 17 days to locate victims of the 9/11 attack on our country’s citizens. The 9/11 Jake went onto train other search and rescue dogs after his time at Ground Zero at his home in Utah before going to work as a therapy dog with burn victims and patients in nursing facilities.

Sirius was born at 9:30 p.m. on September 10 and was named after a K-9 officer with the Port Authority Police Department. His handler was Officer Lt. David Lim who was hospitalized with injuries after being in the North Tower when it collapsed. Sirius did not survive the attack as he was locked in his crate that was housed in the South Tower’s basement while Officer Lim went to investigate. Sirius’ remains were recovered in the winter of 2002.

Thunder made his bang of an appearance into the world at 11:40 p.m. Monday, just twenty minutes before it was officially the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. He bears the name of a search and rescue dog from the state of Washington who had assisted in searching through the rubble of Ground Zero.

Trakr was the last dog of the litter that was born on September 10. The little puppy was given the name Trakr after a German Shepherd who partnered with a Canadian police officer and found the last survivor 27 hours after the South Tower came down. In April 2009, five clones of Trackr were born.

The first puppy of the litter actually born on September 11 is Apollo, who made his appearance at 12:13 a.m. Named Apollo in honor of an NYPD K-9 Officer who happens to have been the first search and rescue dog to arrive at the World Trade Center within 15 minutes of the towers coming down. Not letting anything stop him, the original Apollo’s fur caught fire at one point during his search efforts but after his but his handler put out the flames Apollo got right back to work.

Riley made his arrival at 1:14 a.m. on September 11 and is named after a Golden Retriever who was trained in a special basket to search over canyons. Riley ended up finding the bodies of several firefighters on the scene.

The only female puppy of the entire litter, Roselle was born at 1:26 a.m. on September 11 and is named in honor of a guide dog who had led her owner down 78 floors in the North Tower. She then led her owner to safety at the entrance of a subway where she then proceeded to bring comfort to another woman blinded by dust and debris.

The staff at Tall Pine Labs is referring to the brand-new litter of eight as the “9/11 Never Forget Litter,” and is considered one of the most inspiring dog-tributes to 9/11 that is known.

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Animals

A Reporter Becomes the Story, Saving a Dog in a Hurricane

Leslie Tander

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Reports see a lot of things and have to remain objective to get the story. It’s part of the job. However, once in a while, humanity is still stronger, even that professional training. That was the case for Julie Wilson one winter when she was in the thick of it in the Carolinas, smack in the middle of a hurricane. The job was tough and the elements even harder’ reporting from the middle of a hurricane’s aftermath is no cup of joy for anyone, even the type who like to brave nature on a regular basis. But the story is the goal and target.

Julie was busy doing her rounds, looking for examples of the human story to film and report on with five to fifteen second snippets of video for her station, WTVD ABC 11. Hurricane Florence was hammering the Carolinas that January 2017, and Julie was one of the few reporters out there catching the scene first-hand. Livestreaming the hurricane damage and the personal stories occurring as they were happening, she found herself talking to a woman going by the name Tasha while looking for the next topic to film or report on.

Tasha was asking anyone nearby for help. She was desperate and the anxiety was painted across the woman’s face. A rottweiler was injured and about to be buried by the knee-high floodwater swirling into the area and rising quickly. But the dog mattered more than Tasha’s own safety; the Rottweiler was a therapy dog for Tasha’s daughter, and as far as the woman was concerned essential to save.

Julie kept working on her reporting as events kept happening around her, and Tasha moved on trying to figure out a way to get the dog out of her house. The neighbors had no such distractions, they were all scrambling to get into rescue boats and get out of the area as quickly as possible. Julie was working with the scene and reporting in the camera, using the panic to show that sticking around when told to get out was a bad idea, even for the brave. Her reporting emphasized viewers to listen to warnings when told to get out of the way of the flooding.

However, things changed when Julie saw Tasha struggling to get her dog to safety. Something fundamental kicked in, and the reporter forgot why she was in the scene of the hurricane professionally. The world suddenly slowed down and became just that moment – someone needed help and Julie had to make a decision whether to get involved or not. She chose to get involved.

Julie stopped reporting and moved to help Tasha with the dog. She got into the water and started wading towards Tasha and her Rottweiler. Both were in a serious situation; Tasha and the dog were both struggling to keep above the waterline and maintain an ability to breathe, but the rising water wasn’t helping at all. And in the panic, there was a good chance both of them were going to drown struggling to survive. Julie got to them both and took the weight of the dog off of Tasha. Being able to now just focus on herself, Tasha got to safety. Julie carried the dog, exhausted and not struggling one bit, to a safe point where they could both stand in the water and not go under. The dog calmly stood until moved, just trying to catch its second wind again.

And Julie’s entire moment was caught on film, from the beginning of her reporting to her engagement into the help and the conclusion, showing Tasha and the dog safe and feeling a lot better about themselves. As for Julie, she did okay was well, wading out of the water with a big smile herself about a day in reporting she wasn’t going to forget anytime soon.

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Animals

Giant Hive is Discovered when Bee Whispherer Removes Bricks from Client’s Home

Leslie Tander

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Anyone who has paid attention to the news recently has likely seen the news that the honeybee populations are in some degree of danger. Because bees are responsible for the health of countless plant species all over the world, it is critical to take steps to protect them. That is what makes bee whisperers so important. For those who might not know, bee whisperers are professional honeybee rescuers that are located throughout the country. Recently, a heartwarming story was published from the Southeastern United States.

This story concerns a professional bee whisperer who has a tremendous amount of experience safely relocating bees and hives to other locations. While bees are critically important to the overall ecosystem, most people do not want them around their homes or places of business. This bee whisperer is responsible for moving bees into empty hive boxes of local beekeepers who might have lost some important bee colonies. 

This professional bee whisperer feels like he is saving supper every time he rescues a hive from a home. Too often, when people find a bee colony, the first thing they do is call a pest control company. While this might get rid of the problem, it will also destroy the entire colony. This is one of the main reasons why bee colonies everywhere are having issues. As bees continue to die, the issues are only going to get bigger. This story is an example of how someone should handle beehives in a proper manner.

Everyone once in a while, this bee whisperer receives a call from a homeowner who has a problem that is daunting, even for him. In this case, the bees were located high off the ground and behind a brick wall that is nearly impossible to get to. Removing bricks can lead to serious issues, including damaging the beehive itself. Even though this professional bee whisperer was a little bit hesitant to remove the bricks from the home, the final view was quite impressive. This story took place in TN.

When he started to remove the bricks from the house, the final view was unbelievable. There was an enormous hive behind the wall! This professional bee whisperer was only called when the local pest control service was unable to remove the hive. Furthermore, this service even tried to kill the entire hive! Fortunately, it failed. This meant that the bees were tended to by a trained professional who could safely move the bees without harming them.

The bees got into the bricks through a deep hole that was between the bricks at the bottom of the home. They also got in between a gap located near the windows. Over time, the hive gradually grew into the enormous hive the bee whisperer saw when he arrived. Fortunately, he was able to remove and relocate the bees themselves without harming them in the process. This means that the bees can still contribute to the health of the environment, which is certainly needed. This is just another example of the professional bee whisperer doing his job.

This story is a heartwarming example of how people can come together to remove a problem that might be impact the personal residence without harming the animals in the process. It is important for everyone to keep in mind that every animal has a role to play in the environment. By calling the professionals to deal with the issue, these animals still have a chance to make a difference. Rely on someone who has experience dealing with bees when it comes to hives.

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