A marine mammal that looks to be a Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) stranded on a beach of Barangay Mabay, Maitum this morning. It was well responded to by MENRO Maitum and the community. Latest update is that the animal swam away to Barangay Kalaong after release attempt.

Photos: Adella Jarabe Caasi

Source: Jopy Caneda, on Sarangani Wildlife Protection and Rescue Team Network Facebook Group

A Pygmy Sperm Whale stranded in Barangay Mabay, Maitum, Sarangani province this morning. It was successfully released back to sea by the responders.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

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.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum Facebook

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.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Photos: Joy Lanzon Estrada

A 3.3 meter Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) (to be confirmed) stranded yesterday afternoon in Libjo, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Sur. First responders are currently attending to the animal while the veterinary team of BFAR 13 are not yet on site.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

By Frank PeƱones 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

Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

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.

Source: Dave Gumban Albao Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

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

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.

Source: The Manila Times

Philippines: Fishers rescue baby Whale
By Dexter A. See, 3rd October 2016;

A weak female baby Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) was found yesterday morning at the shoreline of Barangay Carlatan here with injuries on her tail and left eye.

Dr. Christopher Apilado of the city veterinary office, said the 6.5-feet-long Whale weighed around 100 kilos and had a body circumference of 45 inches.

It was found by residents at 4:00 a.m. Friday.

The Whale was brought to the facility of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Sto. Tomas, La Union by members of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council and the bureau.

Apilado said the Whale, which was about a year old, probably strayed from her mother.

“It looks like it was disturbed by fishermen who attempted to catch it as shown by the wounds caused by pointed object,” he said.

Source: The Standard

Philippines: Baby Whale rescued in La Union
By Jun Elias, 1st October 2016;

A female baby Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps), more than six feet long with 45 inches body circumference and weighing at least 1000 kilos, was found stranded yesterday morning at the shoreline of Barangay Carlatan here.

Christopher Apilado, of the city veterinary office, said the Whale, estimated to be a year old, might have strayed from her mother and could have been waylaid by fishermen as indicated by injuries on her tail and left eye caused by a pointed object.

The Whale was brought for treatment at the facility of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Sto. Tomas town by joint personnel of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council and BFAR.

Source: Northbound Philippines News Online