Philippines: Pygmy Sperm Whale rescued in La Union
By William Jun Garcia, 3rd October 2016;
A 6.5-foot long baby Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) was rescued over the weekend by the La Union Rescue Team, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the City Fisheries and Aquatic Management Council (CFARMC) from coastal area in Carlatan Village in his city.
The Whale, which weighed 1,000 kilograms, had swum toward the shore and was discovered by a local fisherman who lives nearby.
According to Dr. Chris Apilado, a CFARMC veterinarian, the Whale bore two deep cuts, one near an eye and the other on the tail.
“Maybe it was caught and was being fished out from the water by handy fishing hook but it was able to wiggle out,” Apilado said, who closely examined the injuries while the Whale was still floating in the water.
Vanessa Bonitalla said her fisherman husband, Ding Carpio, saw the mammal at about 4 a.m., Friday, as soon as he woke up.
They rushed to the sea and were surprised to see an injured “Dolphin” and tried to push it farther into the sea but it could not move, so they called for help from village guards.
Sally Gacayan, a BFAR staff, said the Pygmy Sperm Whale would be brought to the BFAR custodial quarters in Casantaan village in Santo Tomas, La Union.
Gacayan said they would try to keep the mammal alive by first treating its wounds until it is strong enough to be released into the sea.
A vehicle from the La Union Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council transported the injured Whale, which was placed in a rubber boat filled with sea water.
The Pygmy Sperm Whale is one of the several aquatic species that is endangered.
It was the second stranded whale found in the coastal area.
In October 2014, a 12-ton, 20-foot long giant Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) died while it was being rescued by a backhoe and burly men at the nearby village of Lingsat Marine Sanctuary.
It was eventually buried in the village.