Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pool whale


When I read the headline about a whale discovered dead in an Australian swimming pool, I couldn't fathom how it could happen. But having a closer look at the photos (above) and wider views of Newport Beach in Sydney (here, here, and here), I have a much better understanding of what is meant by "ocean pool" and "swimming bath." So how it happened is understandable (it was washed in by heavy seas), but why it happened is a mystery. The enormous humpback whale -  measuring 11m and weighing 30 tons - was found by early morning swimmers and has drawn hundreds to see it. The young adult was thought to have died several days ago and didn't die of old age during its migration up the east coast from Antarctica, but it may have been sick. Being struck by a ship can't be ruled out, however. "It does have some external injuries but there's no way of knowing whether they were ante-mortem or post-mortem," says Wendy McFarlane from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia. The beach is closed due to the risk of sharks being attracted to the area as authorities remove the carcass by cutting it up and hauling it away or washing it back out to sea at high tide.
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