Here are the aerial shots of the dead Sperm Whale which was found beached off the coast of Babak District in the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte. Foreign objects were found in the digestive system of the juvenile Sperm Whale. (Dean Ortiz)
Photo: Dean Ortiz
Philippines: Dead Whale in Samal ingested wires, plastics, nets
By Ace June Rell S. Perez, 18th December 2016;
Initial necropsy report of the young Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) found in barangay Miranda, Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), Davao del Norte showed the distressed mammal had various toxic foreign contents inside its stomach, causing its death last Saturday morning, December 17.
The Davao regional office Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed on Sunday afternoon that one compartment of the stomach of the 38 ft. juvenile Sperm Whale had many foreign objects lodged including cellophane, fish nets and hooks, piece of hard wood with nail, pieces of ropes, cut pieces of steel wires and other pieces of plastics.
The other part of the Whale’s stomach contained fish eyes, fish bones and cartilage, different sizes of squid beaks and numerous stomach worms.
“Following the initial report, our impression is because the Whale’s stomach has those contents, those created the sperm to be distress and later succumbed to death,” Fatma Idris, BFAR-Davao regional director said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
The necropsy started past 7:00 p.m. last Saturday, December 17. Also, tissue samples of internal organs were collected for laboratory analysis.
Darrell Blatchley, owner of D’ Bone Museum in Davao City, led efforts in retrieving and handling the Whale’s body.
Blatchley’s team was still on site past 11 p.m. “to totally get rid of meat and carcasses of the Whale for retrieval of skeletal remains.”
The Local Government Unit of Samal has decided to bury the meat of the Sperm Whale in a landfill in Samal and the skeleton will be preserved for installation and display in Samal museum.