28-degree North Pole water, photographer captured the rarest of
images him swimming with the usually shy narwhal.
"I always knew it would be very tough to get close to a
narwhal whale," Daniel Botelho told GrindTV. "It is notoriously
hard to get close to one. But while all the staff could only stand
a half-hour in the water, I took advantage of my cold resistance
and stayed for three hours, and suddenly something happened that
no one would ever consider: a narwhal whale made friendship with
The female narwhal began following him around the arctic waters
allowing him to photograph her. He thought he had ruined one of
the images by sticking his fin in the frame, but he later realized
that it shows just how close she was to him.
have been a staple to the subsistence of Inuit populations in the
Canadian Arctic for thousands of years. The narwhal famous
for the protruding tusk found on males is hunted by Inuits
for that tusk, maqtaq (blubber), meat, and skin.
The Inuit is the only group that can legally hunt the narwhal
and the number each community can hunt is limited.
Still, there is a thriving smuggling ring for the mammals
tusk, which can measure up to 9 feet long. In January, two
men were charged with smuggling and money laundering in connection
with such a ring that had allegedly been finding ways to get tusks
from Canada into the United States for a decade.
To view more images, visit Daniel Botelho's Facebook