Community Comes Together To Rescue Beached Humpback Whale
It's quite touching when something happens to bring a community together and it can happen for lots of different reasons. A street party, a missing pet, or, if you live on the Argentinian coast, a beached whale.
That's exactly what happened at Punta Mogotes in Mar del Plata, a resort city on Argentina's Atlantic coast, when a whale was found washed up on the shore and the locals rallied round to help out.
The six-tonne, eight-metre humpback became beached at low tide on 7th April and rescue workers have now spent almost two days assisting the gargantuan animal, with plans to return it to the sea this week.
After the whale was discovered, The Argentine Naval Prefecture, Civil Defence units, conservationists and community members came together and spent the entire day on Sunday helping to keep it hydrated with pumps and hoses.
An environmental official said: "It is not clear if the whale had a problem or whether it became disorientated for some reason. It is also possible that it came to shore because of an illness."
The official added that it was 'very rare' to see these whales in the area where this one was found.
The tide has been helping to keep the whale hydrated and the plan is to use a tugboat to pull the creature out into deep waters later.
The rescue team are calling for more volunteers to head down to the coast and help.
Meanwhile, a sperm whale found washed up on the south coast of Spain was not so lucky.
The young male was killed by gastric shock and an autopsy revealed his stomach and intestines to contain rubbish such as plastic bags, raffia sacks, pieces of nets and ropes and even a plastic jerry can.
Consuelo Rosauro, the director-general for the natural environment in the Murcian government, said that pollution from plastic waste had become one of the biggest threats to global marine life in the last decade.
"Many animals get trapped in the rubbish or ingest great quantities of plastic which end up causing their death," she said.
"The presence of plastics in seas and oceans is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of wildlife throughout the world, since many animals are trapped in the trash or ingest large amounts of plastics that end up causing their death."
She added: "The region of Murcia is no stranger to this problem, which we must tackle through clean-up actions and, above all, citizen awareness."
Featured Image Credit: CEN