A beluga whale has been filmed playing “fetch” with South African rugby fans using an official 2019 Rugby World Cup ball near the Arctic Pole.

In the video published on Facebook by Alon Kowen, a group of South African rugby fans can be seen throwing a 2019 Rugby World Cup ball out into the ocean. The cute and friendly whale chases the ball and returns it to the men on the boat.

A beluga whale (also known as the “white whale, scientific name: Delphinapterus leucas) has been filmed playing “fetch” with an official 2019 Rugby World Cup ball near the Arctic Pole. A group of South African rugby fans can be seen throwing the ball out into the ocean. The whale chases the ball, before returning it to the men on the boat. Original video by Alon Kowen

Kowen wrote: “Beluga Whale celebrating the Springboks victory somewhere close to the South Pole! Spot the Cape Town build Gemini Craft and the South African accents.”

Note: this is confusing because the beluga whale lives in the Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. The video is most probably has been shot near the Arctic pole.

The South African national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks won Rugby World Cup 2019 which held in Japan.

Beluga whale

Beluga whale head
The head of a beluga shows its distinctive white coloring and the large frontal prominence that houses the melon. Like most toothed whales (i.e. orca), it has a compartment found at the center of the forehead that contains an organ used for echolocation called a melon (cetacean), which contains fatty tissue. Image: Wikipedia

The beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), also known as the “white whale” (it is the only marine mammal of this color), and sea canary (due to its high-pitched calls) is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean (see notes 1).

Newborn calves and most young belugas are gray. It takes about 10 years to turn white.

They have a muscular, all-white body and a rounded head. Their body size is between that of a dolphin‘s and a true whale’s, with males growing up to 5.5 meters (18 feet) long and weighing up to 1,600 kg (3,530 lb).

They are arctic species. The lack of a dorsal fin lets them swim easily under the ice.

Females are smaller, they measure 3 to 4.1 meters (9.8 to 13.5 feet).

Beluga whales are very vocal and social. They travel in groups called pods, which include 2 to 25 individuals, with an average of 10 members.

Unlike other whales, belugas are able to move their heads up and down, and side to side. This helps them show amazing fetch skills.


1. Cetacea

Cetacea simply means “whale”, which are aquatic mammals. There are around 89 living species. including the largest animal that has ever lived – the blue whale, dolphins, humpback whales, killer whales, etc.

The word “cetacea” comes from Latin: Cetus, literally ‘whale’. It also derives from Ancient Greek: κῆτος, romanized: kētos, literally means “huge fish“.


M. Özgür Nevres

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