Sunday, April 24, 2016

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Whale Washes Ashore In Central Vietnam, The 5th In 6 Weeks; And Stranded Whale Put Down After Re-Floating Attempts Fail In South Wairarapa, New Zealand?!

Men pull a whale body to shore in Thua Thien-Hue Province April 24. Dien Quang/Zing

April 24, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Dead whale washes ashore in central Vietnam, the 5th in 6 weeks

A body of a whale was washed to shore in Thua Thien-Hue Province Saturday night and locals believe it is just another victim of the industrial pollution that has been killing fish in mass in recent days.

Locals said the whale of more than 100 kilograms was first washed to shore when it was still alive but seemed tired.

They thought it was stranded and pushed it out to the sea.

But the body showed up a short time after that.

Locals said they found whale bodies once in a while, but the animals were all big and old.

"This one is only 100 kilograms, so it's very strange," Nguyen Vinh, a local fisher, told news website Zing.

"There have been many fish washed to shore dead on recent days, so we're worried that it might just be another one."

Tons of dead fish have been washed ashore in Thua Thien-Hue and several nearby provinces - Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri - for the past two weeks,
apparently due to industrial pollution.

Between March 16 and April 11, three dead whales of 40, 50 and 80 kilograms were also washed ashore in Nghe An Province, to the north of Ha Tinh.

The central government on Friday ordered an investigation on suspicions that Taiwanese-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company in Ha Tinh has discharged untreated wastewater into the sea, after a local fisherman reported that he saw a large sewage pipe from the company discharging wastewater into the sea.

Stranded whale put down after re-floating attempts fail in South Wairarapa, New Zealand

A five-metre Cuvier's beaked whale was euthanised at Whangaimoana beach, South Wairarapa after attempts to refloat it failedLuke Tipoki

A whale stranded on a Wairarapa beach for two days has been euthanized and buried according to local iwi's wishes.

The 5-metre Cuvier's beaked whale has been stranded for two days since being spotted on a beach at Whangaimoana on Wairarapa's southern coast. Despite efforts to re-float the two-tonne whale on Wednesday night and Thursday, the animal was unable to swim back to sea once in the water.

Department of Conservation Wairarapa operations manager Kathy Houkamau said they made the call on Friday morning in consultation with local iwi to euthanize the whale.

"We found the whale in weaker condition when we got there and made the decision to euthanize. Obviously, our primary concern was the welfare of the whale and we knew that in that weakened state it wasn't going to re-float," she says.

The whale was shot with a firearm while a karakia was being recited and then the carcass was buried in a hole further up the beach accompanied by a ceremony presided over by Kahungunu ki Wairarapa chief executive PJ Devonshire.

Houkamau says Department of Conservation is charged with the final decision to put a distressed whale down, though local iwi is consulted about how to treat the dead whale afterwards and they opted to have the animal buried nearby with a blessing.

"It's heart-breaking, but not a difficult decision to make for an animal who we need to make that decision for," she says.

She wanted to thank all the staff, volunteers and experts that assisted during the period of the whale's stranding and their attempts to get it back into the ocean.

"The community around us down there was fabulous. They worked tirelessly alongside us and we just really appreciated their support," she says.

- Thanh Nien News | Stuff.

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