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Baby whale isn't the first to bond with a boat

August 19, 2008 |  6:05 am

News out of Sydney, Australia, that a lost humpback whale calf has adopted a yacht as its mother got us thinking about another notable bond between an animal and a boat.

Petra_gets_on_the_love_boat Petra, a black swan at a German zoo, also garnered international attention in 2006 when she apparently developed a fondness for a paddle boat shaped like an over-sized white swan, refusing to leave its side. Petra later found a real-life swan lover, but after he left her, zoo officials this year reunited her with her old flame -- the one with plastic plumage.

The baby whale's devotion to the yacht seems similarly steadfast: After first being spotted Sunday, on Monday the 1- to 2-month-old was seen trying to suckle the boat and would not leave.

To try to coax the whale back out to sea and closer to its mother or to a pod of whales, rescuers towed the duo out to sea, where the calf detached from the boat, but remained close by.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Martin Meissner / Associated Press

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