DANA POINT, CA -- Drone video over Southern California caught a massive pod of stampeding dolphins. The man behind the amazing video said, "When I saw it, I was moved to tears."
"I prefer to be called Captain Dave," David Anderson told 11Alive's Julie Wolfe. Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari is based out of Dana Point, California where he captured most of the video.
A boater contacted Dave after spotting a mega-pod of dolphins. The day was clear and sunny with calm seas. It was exactly the kind of day he'd been waiting for to put his new drone technology to the test. "But I can't rush this kind of thing," he told Wolfe.
By the time he reached the pod, they were already in stampede. "It's mysterious behavior. Scientists don't know exactly what causes dolphin stampedes. I've seen them where they start slow and build up speed, and where they start suddenly with a burst of activity."
"They could be afraid of something or they may be heading towards food," he said. The video doesn't show any obvious predator.
The video shows Capt. Dave's boat and he wants to clear up speculation that he caused the dolphins to run. "They were already in stampede when my boat arrived. And they love to ride the waves behind the boat. Those dolphins are so used to boats," he said.
The video also includes drone footage of a Humpback whale and her calf snuggling and playing near Maui.
Capt. Dave said it's the first drone video he's shared with the public. He was motivated to use the amazing video to influence the debate about drone legislation. "People have so many concerns about privacy, and that's understandable," Capt. Dave said. "But if they outlaw drones, they have to realize they'll be outlawing this window into the lives of these beautiful animals."
He says it's video he never could have captured before drones became more widely available. "It would have cost between $10,000 and $20,000," he said. "This is smaller and more simple to fly."
The World Wildlife Fund-U.S. reports 1,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises are killed every day in nets and fishing gear. Capt. Dave said he's received so many messages from people around the world moved by the video, and now wanting to take action.
"I wanted people to be moved to tears and care about these animals without me saying a single word."
Post by 11Alive.