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Last Updated: Wednesday March 12 2008 14:54 GMT

Moko the dolphin rescues whales


A dolphin named Moko saved the lives of two whales by leading them to safety after they became stranded off a beach in New Zealand.

The huge creatures had become trapped by a sandbar and couldn't find their way back into the ocean.

Rescuers were about to give up trying to get the whales back out to sea, when Moko swam past them and saved the day.

The dolphin approached the stranded whales and led them along the beach and through a channel into deeper waters.

Moko, who was named by local people, is well known for swimming playfully with humans.

Rescuers had been trying for more than an hour to get the two pygmy sperm whales, a mother and her calf, back out to sea, when the dolphin arrived on the scene.

One of the rescuers, Juanita Symes, said: "Moko just came flying through the water and pushed in between us and the whales.

"She got them to head toward the hill, where the channel is. It was an amazing experience."

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