Sadly added Whale 52 and 53 to the museums collection today. She was pregnant. Exact cause of death unknown. There was propeller strike wounds and pregnancy complications. Two less Dwarf Sperm Whales (Kogia sima) in the ocean.
Photo: Dr. Christopher Luyong
An adult female Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) stranded in Manicahan, Zamboanga City two days ago (November 21). This animal died a few hours later.
By Frank Peñones Jr., 25th October 2016;
Whales and Dolphins here are assigned their own graveyard too.
Dead sea mammals, which are collectively called cetaceans, have been allotted a burial place at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center (RFFC) in Barangay Fabrica in Bula, Camarines Sur.
“We have so far a dozen cases of dead Whales and Dolphins found or stranded in the beaches of Bicol, so we thought of burying them properly, and that’s how the Cetacean Cemetery came to be,” Noni Enolva, spokesperson for BFAR, in Bicol said.
She added that a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) found in Ragay in April 2014 was the first cetacean to have been buried in the cemetery; while the latest were two Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) found in Tinambac town in July this year.
Cetaceans are a widely distributed family of finned and carnivorous aquatic mammals, which include Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.
Enolva said that when these dead mammals are found, they are brought to the RFFC for necropsy to determine the probable cause of their death by members of the Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Responding Team.
Some causes of death include ingestion of plastic and other solid wastes and acoustic trauma, a sensory hearing loss caused by dynamite explosions or seafloor drilling.
“They become deaf due to these explosions and eventually lose their equilibrium, so they drown. A deaf whale is a dead whale,” Enolva said.
Source: The Manila Times
This is the saddest but most moving interaction I ever had with a marine mammal. Last Saturday, we responded to a call for 2 stranded cetaceans (initially reported as Dolphins). When we got to the site, it was already dark and only one was left behind, a Dwarf Sperm Whale (male calf) (Kogia sima). His body had a bite from a Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis), and lesions from corals and rocks. I was on the phone consulting friends who have experiences with marine mammal rescue, and our goal was for it to swim back out to sea. 2 hours later under the stars and glowing plankton in the water, we bid him farewell, hoping he would not come back to shore, that he would heal and find his mom. I was sad because he’s only a calf, and he may not survive if not reunited with his mother. Noon the next day, we received a call again from the village and rushed to the same site. The Whale was back, swimming weak and with more lesions and wounds. When my friends John and Ledrolen (who were with me in the water the night before) waded into the water, the Whale swam towards them as if asking for help. Our hearts were being crushed, not knowing if he will still survive. But we knew he was fighting to live. It was so powerful, how a marine mammal like that can communicate to us humans through their eyes, breathing, heartbeat and body movement. We hoped we could just bring him to a hospital and treat his wounds. One thing that Doc Ari told us to do early on during the response was to talk to the Whale. We were whispering to him with sincere love and encouragement. It may have been silly but it made sense to us. We named him Jafi to honor his personality and to remember him as a friend. Jafi didn’t make it, but we wish to commemorate him by committing to care for all our fellow Earthlings.
Thanks to Bianca and Kaila for the phone support during the response, colleagues in BFAR and Cauayan MAO for coordinating, and to Elenuel Genova of CHMSC for reporting the stranding. I didn’t want to post Jafi’s post-mortem photos for the measurements and all, so if you need those and stranding data, please contact me.
Just a calf, this Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) stranded last Saturday at Masaling, Cauayan (about 20km away from Danjugan Island). He had a shark bite, and other wounds possibly from coral or rocks when he beached. We responded upon request of a friend from BFAR, with the help of marine mammal stranding consultants Ari, Bianca and Kaila on the phone. My friends John and Len spent hours on the water with me, as we tried to help the whale swim back to sea. He was able to swim away Saturday night, but got back to shore at noon the next day and we rushed again to the site. He was fighting to survive but eventually lost. Our hearts go with Jafi; we named him because we feel we’ve emotionally connected to him. Now that I’m typing a report about it, I couldn’t help but remember how we were once whispering to Jafi that everything’s going to be alright.
Source: Dave Albao Instagram
Indonesia: Beached creature ‘Whale, not Dolphin’
By N. Adri, 15th July 2016;
A team dispatched by the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) Conservation Foundation has confirmed that a sea creature found dead on Mangempang Beach in Muara Badak district, East Kalimantan, last week was not an Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), or pesut, as previously reported. “It was a Dwarf Sperm Whale, also known as Kogia sima,” RASI researcher Danielle Kreb told journalists on Thursday.
After a thorough examination, the RASI researcher team was certain that the female Dwarf Sperm Whale was attacked and killed by a Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis), also known as a Cigar Shark. Although it is relatively small, only around 60 centimeters in length, the shark has extremely sharp teeth.
“Old wounds on the Whale’s body showed it was probably attacked by a Shark. The Whale came to the surface of the sea because of its severe wounds before becoming stranded on Mangempang Beach,” said Kreb.
She further explained that Dwarf Sperm Whales lived in deep-sea waters and ate squid, octopus and cuttlefish. It is quite difficult to find a Dwarf Sperm Whale because of its silent movement, she added.
“Most research reports on Dwarf Sperm Whales are obtained from beached whales like what we’ve seen here,” said Kreb.
As reported earlier, a pregnant cetacean initially identified as an Irrawaddy Dolphin was found dead on Mangempang Beach, Muara Badak district, Kutai Kartanegara. Muara Badak resident Saidah reported the beached Dolphin, which finally turned out to be a Dwarf Sperm Whale, to the Indonesian Navy post in Marangkayu on July 7.
“We later removed it to our post for a further examination,” said the post’s commander, Second Lieut. Karel Setiawan. Several old wounds, initially suspected to be caused by the propellers of boats plying the Pangempang River, one of the Mahakam River’s tributaries, were found on the animal.
Kreb said the conservation status of Dwarf Sperm Whales in Indonesia could not be determined given the lack of information on the species. However, mammal researchers agree that Dwarf Sperm Whales live in almost all open waters across the world. They can be found in the northernmost waters of Japan to the southernmost ocean of Australia.
Source: Jakarta Post
Indonesia: 2 Irrawaddy Dolphins die in East Kalimantan
By N. Adri, 14th July 2016;
Conservation activists are calling for a more concerted effort to protect the habitat of Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris), or pesut, in Mahakam River in East Kalimantan after two of the protected species were found dead, thought to be as a result of widespread environmental problems.
Save Mahakam Pesut Community activist Innal Rahman said the Mahakam pesut was a protected species as it was critically endangered. The population of Mahakam pesut now numbers only 87 individual animals, down from 96 recorded last year.
The first Dolphin was found dead in Kutai Kartanegara regency on July 3. It was suspected that the female Dolphin died four days before it was found by local residents traveling on the river.
“We saw it stranded near a coal stockpile of coal company PT Morris,” said Rahman, who spotted the Dolphin at the location. At 233 centimeters in length and a body circumference of 128 cm, it is believed the Dolphin was fully mature.
On July 7 a pregnant Dolphin (Actually, it was a Dwarf Sperm Whale) was found dead on nearby Mangempang Beach. Muara Badak resident, Saidah, reported the beached Dolphin to the Navy.
“We later removed it to our post for a further examination,” said the post’s commander Second Lieut. Karel Setiawan. Several old wounds, possibly caused by the propellers of boats using the Pangempang River, one of the Mahakam River’s tributaries, were found on the Dolphin’s body.
There are human settlements, coal stockpiles and oil palm plantations built along the Mahakam River and its tributaries. “Dolphins are a sensitive species. Noise caused by boat engines cause them to lose direction, disrupting their efforts in foraging for food,” said Danielle Kreb, a researcher at the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia Conservation Foundation in Samarinda.
Source: Jakarta Post
The carcass found on July 7 was actually a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima).
After the earlier news about a presumed stranded Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and its unborn foetus on Panempang beach, Mahakam delta, Mas Buono (RASI) together with Septy Adji n Innal Rahman (Save Mahakam), Ricky (BPSPl satker) Balikpapan went to the location on 11 July to re-check the Dolphin species and tried to get a better idea as to the cause of death and collect a sample. After discussion with local residents, the cause of death was determined to be likely due to serious wounds inflicted by Cookiecutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis). Also based on the pictures the species was re-identified as a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima). This species usually inhabits deep water where its main prey are cephalopods. The reason for being in the shallow delta was likely due to the fact that the animal was wounded.
The previous post (9 July) on the stranding at Pangempang Beach, Mahakam River, East Kalimantan needs to be revised. The species is now positively identified as Dwarf Sperm Whale with the Cookiecutter Shark bite as the possible circumstances of death. The Kogia was pregnant (calf photo inserted) Field team consisted of RASI, Save the Mahakam Dolphin and BPSPL Satker Balikpapan. News and photos: Danielle Kreb.