Beached whales

Monday 01 December 2008 @ 4:41 PM

Current mood: angry

A pinch and a punch
for the first day of the month!
No returns 😉

As much as I love this video, the issue of beached or stranded whales is definitely not a laughing matter, and if you wanna start going, ‘Ah nuu, I’m beached is, bru,’ everytime you hear news about beached whales, then I’m sorry to say this, but you have no heart. Why? Well, how would you like it if people made fun of you being lost or stranded? You wouldn’t like it, ey? That’s what I thought.

Do you remember Colin, the baby Humpback whale that was [apparently] abandoned by it’s mother? It was a big thing in the news at the time, especially since he was stranded in Pittwater, Sydney, in the middle of August this year. They first found Colin rubbing up against boats, obviously thinking they were his mother. Articles said he was only a few weeks old, and hadn’t been weaned from his mother. This means he was still relying on his mother to feed him, and because we humans aren’t full grown female Humpback whales, no one could feed Colin. There was one man, though, who tried to feed Colin. I haven’t managed to find the article about it, and I know it exists ’cause I remember seeing it on the ninemsn frontpage one day. The man went out in his boat and used a thick hose to feed regular milk to the calf. Authorities started talking down on him immediately, saying that homogenised cows’ milk isn’t whales’ milk, so Colin wasn’t getting the right nutrients, and could probably die from malnutrition of sorts instead of starvation. Well, bozos, at least this man was doing something to help the whale. Stupid authorities immediately turned to putting down the whale as a solution.

They apparently tried every possible method to help Colin get back out to sea so he could meet and join a pod of Humpback whales to have a better chance at survival. They tried towing the yacht that it mistook for it’s mother out to open sea, but that would’ve just turned into a failed attempt at getting Colin to find his mother because he obviously thought the yacht was his mother. Then they said that if a female Humpback who was lactating happened to pass by and Colin went to it for nourishment and she accepted him, he’d have a better chance at survival. But, alas, the chances of this happening were only slim. HEL-LO. You claimed he had 5 to 7 days to live – you could’ve used those few days to watch for a pod of whales that might pass Pittwater so you could somehow get Colin to join them. They gave every excuse in the book to explain why their attempts weren’t working. I think it was all bullcrap. I don’t think they tried hard enough. That man who tried to feed Colin with regular milk did more to help him than the authorities did.

Anyway, as we all know, they killed him in the end. He was ‘humanely euthanased’ (I personally don’t think euthanasia is humane at all) on August 22. And can I say that I almost cried when I heard about his death. This article gives Cherie Curchod’s account to what she saw:

Cherie Curchod said she saw the whale thrashing around near a jetty below her home after it was given more than six injections.

Ms Curchod said the whale was then tied up and dragged across the bay at Bonnie Doon, to The Basin at Pittwater before it ‘actively started trying to get away’.

‘Then they dragged it to a closed tent and all the while they dragged it, it was flapping its tail, blowing out of its head and moving and trying to get away,’ she told AAP.

‘It was so upsetting because euthanasia is meant to be an easy death and that whale did not have an easy death at all.’

You’re damn right, lady.

This article gives another account of the event by Alexander John Littingham:

It looked like a scene out of the Antarctic with a Japanese fishing boat. It was absolutely disgusting,’ Alexander John Littingham, a sea captain, told Fairfax Radio Network.

‘She was clearly still alive, she was clearly moving, the line was thrashing.

‘We’re complaining about what the Japanese are doing in the Antarctic and we’re allowing it to happen in Pittwater.’

Mr Littingham was one of a group of protesters who tried to organise a NSW Supreme Court injunction to stop the killing but ran out of time.

They then used all their super hi-tech machinery to lift him out of the water so that they could perform an autopsy on him. Why? Pfft. Who knows. But they did find out that Colin was, in fact, a female, so they renamed her Colette. Now that I think about it, if she had been allowed to live, found a pod of Humpback whales to live with and managed to get fed by a female Humpback, Colette could’ve grown up to give birth to more Humpback whales, which are actually an endangered species. Seriously – those ‘authorities’ didn’t think this through properly, did they?

Anyway, what was the point of me talking about Colette? I don’t know anymore. I saw articles on ninemsn today about a whole pod of Long-Finned Pilot whales which were beached on Tasmania’s west coast. They’re actually all dead now, and they just wanna leave the carcasses to rot on the shore. Why? Because ”There’s no access for heavy machinery — it’s a two-hour, four-wheel drive journey to an area which is very isolated’ … ‘When whales become beached in less remote areas we tend to bury them but, on this site, they’re on rocks and it’s impossible to get trucks in there. There aren’t a lot of options.” Yeah right. Ok, so they’re dead and there wouldn’t be any point in getting them back out to the ocean, but honestly, I think too many people are giving up too quickly. And because they’re ‘authorities’, their say is final.

I think whales are the most beautiful animal on the planet, and I don’t think God placed them on this earth to co-exist with us so we could mock them when they were in trouble or in need, and I certainly don’t think he wanted us to kill them, let them die, watch them suffer or forget about them. God gave us this planet to take care of – that’s why he said in Genesis 1:28, ”Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

One day I’m gonna do something to help those beautiful whales.

Articles on Colette:
Orphaned whale ‘thinks yacht is mother’
Whale calf ‘bonds’ with Sydney yacht
Baby whale returns to ‘mother yachts’
Whale calf may die before euthanised
Outlook for baby whale is bleak: Iemma
Baby whale Colin given fatal injection
Starving baby whale has been euthanased

Other articles you might wanna read:
Whale rescuers brace for grim scene after mass stranding
Tasmanian whale death toll reaches 150
Beached whales ‘likely to be left to rot’
Humpback whales making a comeback: study