Beluga whale near North Pole plays fetch with rugby fans

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the encounter with the beluga whale took place near the South Pole.

A beluga whale near the Arctic Circle delighted a group of South African rugby fans passing through recently by playing fetch with them.

A video posted on Facebook Wednesday shows one of the fans throwing a 2019 Rugby World Cup ball in the whale’s direction. To their surprise, the whale swims to it and brings it back to the boaters.

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The whale retrieved the ball more than once.

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Belugas are playful and smart animals that like to spit water at other whales and humans, according to the conservation nonprofit Oceana.