Sperm Whale Found Dead On Zamboanga Isle

July 24, 2007 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 24 Jul) – Philippine fishery experts have on Tuesday identified the dead whale found on an island off Zamboanga City.Experts said the carcass belonged to the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), the largest of all toothed whales, measuring up to 18 meters long. The whale was named after the milky-white substance, spermaceti, found in its head and originally mistaken for sperm.

Filipino fishermen discovered the 30-meter whale beached on an island called Bubu. Initially it was thought to be gray whale. They discovered the dead whale on Saturday and informed authorities about it two days later.

“It was really huge and this is the first time we saw such kind of whale. It’s a pity that the whale was dead when we found it while fishing near the island,” said Hashim Abubakar.

“Fishery workers took measurements of the whale and photographs too,” he said.

It was unknown what caused the animal to be stranded, but beaching is often fatal for whales, as they become dehydrated and die. Beached whales also die when their lungs are suffocated under their own weight or drown when high tides cover their blowholes.

Local authorities warned fishermen not to go near the dead whale, saying, it can become a source of disease. The island is uninhabited, but nearby islands are home to hundreds of fishermen. (Mindanao Examiner)

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