You won’t believe what these friendly gray whales in Mexico are doing to get rid of parasites!

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Whales are such majestic creatures. Humans have long been fascinated with them, making up myths and legends to explain their existence. One whale-watching captain in Mexico continues to have his own magical experiences with gray whales.

Paco Jimenez Franco has spent countless hours on the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, located off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. One day, a gray whale approached his boat close enough to touch. He noticed some white whale lice on its body and picked them off. The same grateful whale keeps coming back for more grooming sessions and even told its friends about Paco’s services. One can only wonder if gray whales use Yelp.

Paco opened up about these moving experiences to The Dodo. “Once I removed the first one, she approached again so that I could continue to do so,” he recalled about his first encounter. She kept coming back for more.

“I have done it repeatedly, with the same whale and others,” Paco stated. “It is very exciting for me.” He clearly loves his job and the ability to interact with these amazing animals.

Mark Carwardine, a zoologist with experience in the region, explains the complicated relationship between gray whales and lice. The whale lice serve a purpose by consuming algae and dead skin from the whales, but it comes at a cost. “I think the gray whales have a love-hate relationship with their whale lice,” he stated. “They have very sensitive skin, and thousands of these little creatures holding on tight, or moving about, with their exceedingly sharp, recurved claws, must drive them nuts.” He has first-hand experience with the pests. “It can actually hurt when a whale louse grabs hold of your finger – it feels like tiny pinpricks,” he noted.

To see Paco’s special whale encounter and spa services, watch this video.

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