Sydney’s Lost Whale Calf


Dawn wrote about this heartbreaking news:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whale bonds with ship

This is pretty amazing – when you think about orphaned kittens and how they need to be looked after and how difficult it is to keep them alive, you read about this and realise that there really is no way to bottle feed a whale.

The BBC says too: Hopes fade for Sydney whale calf

The lost calf – aged between one and two months – was first sighted on Sunday just north of Sydney and soon began to try to suckle from a yacht, which it would not leave.

Rescuers towed the boat into open sea hoping that the calf would find another female to suckle from, but the attempt failed and the whale returned to an inlet near Sydney. On Wednesday, another attempt also failed.

The whale has since been trying to suckle from other boats.

Sad sight

“It sounded like a bit of a vacuum cleaner on the bottom of the boat. I finally got up and here’s this whale suckling the side of the boat,” sailor Peter Lewis told a commercial radio station.

“It was a very, very sad sight. It did it for about an hour, going from side to side on the boat and at times blowing air under the boat, and it just seemed to give a sigh out at one stage as if, you know, ‘this isn’t working’.”

Chris McIntosh, a spokesman for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, told AFP that the whale probably hadn’t had food for about five days and was getting weaker.

Euthanasia was “the most likely outcome, but we are not at that point yet”, he said.

It’s funny how the same thing can elicit such different emotions from people. Whales, who doesn’t like them? … that was rhetorical.

The irony is, while Sydney agonises over the fate of this whale calf, Japan’s whale-killing mob is revving up to put political spanners in the anti-whale killing works. This, after using humpbacks to blackmail the rest of the IWC during the latest IWC summit to allow it to continue killing endangered fin whales in the next whale-killing season. This, despite voices of dissension among its own, particularly Shigeko Misaki, a former advisor to the Japan Whaling Association and the former counsel for the Institute for Cetacean Research or ICR (Japanese government FUNDED unnecessary whale research by KILLING them institute) who says:

“…I now find myself retired and severed from much of the controversy over whaling. However, internet reports of whaling “progress” thus far persuade me that this season is the most opportune time for Japan’s government to decide to withdraw all whaling operations from the Southern Ocean.”

“I say this because I believe that pelagic whaling does not contribute to the prevention of global warming. Just think of the expensive fuel the Japanese whaling fleet consumes en route to the Antarctic, plus that consumed by the freezing ship for transporting the byproducts of whaling to the Japanese market. Over the years, Japanese research ships have made a mess on the ocean when fire broke out due to poor management of the vessel. Add to that the mess made by animal rights groups eager to attack the whaling ships. Whaling as a business hardly justifies the environmental costs. Talk about ‘food mileage’ has not touched on whale meat. Why doesn’t the government consider it more seriously, and cease whaling in any form, except small-scale coastal whaling?”

Never mind the insanity and stubbornness of hiding behind the limpid excuse of culture and heritage. The important question is: can the voice of reason, the compassion of logic prevail against the hell-bent whale-killers of the world?

What can we do to help bring about that outcome?

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5 responses to “Sydney’s Lost Whale Calf

  1. It is not impossible to raise an orphaned whale. Google JJ the gray whale. It has been done before

  2. Hi N,
    I know, I watched the docu of that gray whale’s rescue, rehabilitation and release too.

    However, today’s TODAY reported that the decision has been made to euthanise this humpback baby… though I am unable to find similar confirmation on other news sites. We can only hope.

    EDIT: Found the latest – Colin the whale calf is dead by euthanesia.

  3. A gold medal for the world’s dumbest creature: a yacht-suckling whale.

    Silver for the people who cry about it.

  4. Thats awful.. but on the other hand i can see how difficult it would be to feed it, besides theres no guarantee that a hand raised whale could adapt sucessfully to the wild. Look at what happened to Keiko.. dead soon after release. All that effort down the drain. I don’t know, its a tough call and I dont envy the decision-makers.

    And oh look, a troll. Hows the water under the bridge?

  5. Yes, it is. My guess is also the Aussies may not have the experience as the Americans have with such cases and thus this outcome. I just feel so sorry for little Colin.

    Shhh… ignore it. I’m all for organic deaths, so I’ll just let it die a natural one. It can be useful in giving the people who read this post a little levity. 😉