Humpback whale dives underneath kayakers as they scream with delight

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A woman shrieked with excitement when she found herself kayaking with a group of humpback whales.

Brittany Ziegler, 31, has a self-professed ‘love affair with the Pacific Ocean’ and its whales.

So much so, that she moved from her home in California to the Hawaiian island of Maui to film the sea giants.

She spends every day during whale season – mid-December to mid-April – on her kayak photographing and filming her favourite animals.

But the routine has clearly done nothing to hamper the joy for Brittany, which is clear to see in a recent video showing the mum screaming with delight.

At the start of the clip, the whales were spotted a fairly safe distance from Brittany who saw two humpbacks breaking through the water’s surface and shouted: ‘Oh my god!’

Another voice was heard asking: ‘They won’t jump on us right?’ – just before Brittany whipped her camera to the right to show the whale alarmingly close.

Her voice changed to fearful as she paddled backward and shouted: ‘He’s under us,’ but she quickly returned to giggling and squealing.

At one point, the humpback breached the sea just a few feet away from the woman on a kayak (Picture: Caters)
Brittany Ziegler said she spends ‘every single day’ of whale season on a kayak (Picture: Caters)
When Brittany noticed the whale was so close to her, she quickly paddled backward (Picture: Caters)

The ocean enthusiast, who is also a science fiction author, said: ‘Whale season lasts six months in Hawaii. I spend every single day on the kayak getting to know all the new babies.

‘After a couple of weeks the babies recognise my kayak and voice and will come right over to us whenever they see or hear me.

‘Some babies like to play games, show off, or sing so loud I can hear them above water.’

Humpbacks travel more than 3,000 miles from Alaska to Hawaii so they can enjoy warmer waters in winter.

The animals use their time there to mate, give birth and nurture their calves before making their way back to Alaska for its feeding waters in summer.

Whales are currently registered as endangered. Their populations have increased since much of the world has embraced whale hunting bans, but the practice has continued in some countries.

Japan resumed its commercial whaling industry after a 31-year hiatus in 2019, after, among other reasons, the government insisted eating whales is an important part of Japanese culture.

Globally, whales face threats of pollution, ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and offshore oil and gas development.

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