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Dead pilot whale found on Samal Island
A dead pilot whale was found Monday night, June 11, on Kaputian Island, Island Garden City of Samal.
Pilot whales, or Globicephala macrorhynchus, are large dolphin species, second in size only to orcas. These whales are usually found in tropical and temperate waters and are quite common in the waters of Mindanao.
According to Mr. Darrell Blatchley, curator of D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, the short-finned pilot whale appears to have been dead for at least a couple of days based on the amount of decomposition seen on the body. Upon initial observation, it was first speculated that the pilot whale died from a shark attack.
But after the autopsy of the 600 lbs pilot whale performed in D’Bone Collector Museum, it was later revealed that the whale died from internal injuries caused by a bottle cap lodged in the lungs.
“This case is quite unusual because pilot whales usually die in mass strandings,” explains Mr.Blatchley. “It’s actually a good thing that we only found one dead whale although it’s really unfortunate how something so big can be killed by something as small as a bottle cap.”
This is not the first time that a pilot whale was found dead in Mindanao. Last September, a male, half-ton pilot whale was found dead on the shore of Barangay Tamisan, Mati City. It was suspected that the whale died due to injuries caused by a fisherman’s spear but no further efforts were made to determine the cause of death.
Pilot whales are very intelligent animals and they usually travel in groups of 20 to 90 whales. They can be trained and are being used by the US Navy to locate and retrieve military equipment lost in the ocean. Pilot whales are not endangered but they are protected under Philippine wildlife law. — TJD, GMA News
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