Michael Fishbach, a co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy (along with Gershon Cohen) videotaped a remarkable encounter he and friends had with a whale who they were trying to cut free from cast-off fishing net. The net had become entangled around the whale and Michael and his friends worked to cut it loose. The whale seemed to know that it was being helped and continued to surface by the boat to let the humans do their work.
After the last netting had been cut free the whale spent the next hour showing its thanks.
It's worth the time (8:21) to watch the whole thing. There's an especially touching moment around the 7:25 mark.
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