Video: Aiding a manta

Manta Rescue on Wetpixel

Wetpixel member Martin Heyn (NWDiver) has posted a remarkable video sequence, filmed by his wife Julie, of him removing a rope that was entangled around a manta. When questioned on the forum about whether the manta deliberately held still to let the him remove it, he wrote:

So hard to judge an animals actions. She did not bolt the second we came in contact. She did go deeper after the first cut of the rope, maybe to 40ft. Pulling the rope from around her lobe was very tough as it was cutting into her several inches. Not clear in the video is one part of the rope was cutting back into her eye. I was trying to make sure to remove the rope from the “front” in hopes of doing no more damage to it.”

Was she staying in place to be helped or due to being in shock from pain of removing the rope? We don’t know. We did watch her after all the rope was gone and she swam with good motion. Regardless, it was one of those moments you were so involved in that you forget to raise the camera.