Whale calf found in dire state Print E-mail
Monday, 23 March 2009 20:59

Photo by Andrew Stevenson

(Source: Sarah Lagan - The Bermuda Sun, 20 Mar 2009)

Shark attack: A humpback whale was spotted four miles west of the island with a chunk bitten out of its tail. The flesh can be seen ripped away. The whale was with its calf which had become entangled in polypropylene rope. *Photo by Andrew Stevenson A humpback calf was spotted in a "dire" condition with its injured mother after becoming entangled in polypropylene rope. Filmmaker and conservationist Andrew Stevenson reckons the mother had a bite taken out of her tail, probably when defending her calf against a shark.


He spotted the whales roughly four miles west of Somerset, on Sunday.

Mr. Stevenson said the calf would likely die if the ropes stayed around its head, as it would not be able to open its mouth to eat.

He told the Bermuda Sun: "I hope this will be a reminder to Bermuda residents to be careful with the things they throw overboard including plastic bags, fishing line, ropes, discarded nets and so on.

"I don't know if the calf became entangled here or not but the shark bite on the mother was fresh, with flesh still hanging from her fluke. They had obviously come into shallow water for protection. It's very unusual for a shark to bite a whale - it could have been that the calf was bleeding which would have attracted a shark.

"It was a sad evening once I realized the dire condition of the calf. If the rope is entangled in its mouth it will have destroyed the delicate baleen used to filter out the water and keep its food in its mouth. It's likely it will die if the ropes remain

there."

 
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