Sydney named* the lost calf… but ultimately he still died, yesterday morning: Humpback whale calf Colin euthanased. Click the link to read, there are details on the arguments for and against further attempts to save Colin, and links to debates on whether it was necessary to end little Colin’s life by human committee.
This is a surprisingly turn given the upbeat tone of articles like this, and reports of the military’s willingness to assist in rescue efforts, just hours earlier.
Colin’s case has also sparked some possible controversy… namely:
… an international law professor says it may be illegal for authorities to euthanise the abandoned calf.
Professor Donald Rothwell from the Australian National University says there is no provision or precedent under NSW law to put down the protected species.
He says an order could be possibly be granted under the NSW National Parks Act, but that would send the wrong message to the international community about whale conservation.
“One of the important issues which should cause concerns here is that humpback whales are the whales that Australia has particularly taken a strong position with in terms of their protection and conservation at the international level,” he said.
“I think the Japanese would view with some interest Australia granting a permit to actually legally kill a whale that’s in Australian waters.”
I would hate to see Colin’s tragedy open that can of worms to the benefit of his species’ killers.
EDIT: * Colin’s autopsy reveals him to be a her, and now she’s been renamed Collette, though it’s going to make scant difference to her.