(It's so hard to resist saying "Batman" next.) Holy Crocodile! is the title of my book about animals who
help saints, including the friendly crocodile who gives St. Pachome a wild ride. All true!... based on actual legends.
Ask your favorite book seller to order your copy of Holy Crocodile! today!
One of the stories in Holy Crocodile concerns St. Brendan and a whale. The whale in that story is very cooperative with Brendan, even after the saint and his sailors confuse her with an island.
I saw this picture in the paper last week illustrating an article about a whale who exhibited gratitude when humans freed it from fishing nets. The whale story isn't a whopper, as Snopes will testify: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/whalethanks.asp though the image doesn't date to the event in question. In this article it said that, after the whale was free, it began swam up to each diver/rescuer and nuzzling him. The divers said that, while they hated to anthropomorphize too much, it felt like the whale was thanking them.
In the course of looking for this amazing pictures I came across lots of other stories about people freeing whales, including videos of whales jumping for joy after people cut them free from nets. Sadly, it's estimated that fishing nets kill nearly 1,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises a day!