Watch: Beluga whale steals tourist's camera, then gives it back

A tame beluga whale has been caught on camera pinching a kayaker's GoPro - then giving it back.

Diver Joachim Larssen was kayaking in Hammerfest Bay, Norway earlier this month when the beluga whale came to greet him.

The incredibly tame and inquisitive whale known as Hvaldimir followed Larssen's kayak into the bay then began rubbing up against it.

Larssen seized on the opportunity to grab some up-close footage of the friendly beast with his GoPro. 


With the camera submerged, Hvaldimir came within inches of the lens showing the gentle giant in incredible detail. 

Hvaldimir then knocked the GoPro from its mount, which caused the camera to fall to the bottom of the harbour, but the white whale then dived down, picked it up with its mouth and returned it to an amazed Larrsen.

Then, as if he was aware that his deed had earned him some attention, Hvaldimir then hung around seemingly enjoying the head rubbing he was getting from Larssen. 

Larssen said the whale was likely trained by Russians, so probably knew exactly what the GoPro was.

"I wanted to film him under water and I think he knows what a GoPro it is," he said. 

"I was surprised and didn't want to touch him in the start since I normally don't touch wild animals.

Larrsen rated this experience as one of the best in his life.

"It was magical," he said.