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Whale dies after being washed ashore by rough seas

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By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – An adult melon-headed whale, which was washed ashore by the rough seas churned by tropical depression Usman, has died.

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TO NO AVAIL – Rescuers of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG) and the Tacloban Fisheries Law Enforcement Team (FLET) try to refloat this stranded melon-headed whale in the waters of Cancabato Bay, but the sea mammal was too weak to recover and died a few days later. (Photo courtesy of BFAR-Region 8)

The whale was sighted last December 28 near Alimasag Fisherman area in Cancabato Bay here.

It was brought to the Tacloban Fisheries Law Enforcement Team (FLET), and the incident was reported to BFAR Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG).

BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said that aside from superficial skin scratches and five shark bites, “there were no significant evidence of clinical disease or trauma.”

FPLEG released the whale in the deeper part of Cancabato Bay, but it got stranded anew at the shore near the Leyte Park Hotel and Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).

It was recovered, restrained, and brought to BFAR Diit here for temporary care.

BFAR personnel were already planning to release the whale, expecting the weather to clear in a few days.
But the animal went into rapid breathing until it died.

A necropsy revealed starvation and parasitism as possible causes of death.

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