Monday, 31 March 2014

Whale Surfaces In Hong Kong

Sad news about a dead whale (believed to be a Bryde's whale ... to be confirmed) found in Hong Kong waters.

The whale was still seen floating on the waters in Hung Shek Mun on Sunday. Photo: Ocean Park Conservation Foundation


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Reference

Seven-metre long whale found stranded in Hung Shek Mun (SCMP; paywall)

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 2014, 11:59am

Phila Siu

A whale about seven meters long was found stranded in Hung Shek Mun in Tai Po on Saturday evening.

Police said the force received a report from a hiker at around 6pm on Saturday that a whale was stranded in Hung Shek Mun. The force immediately informed the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, as well as the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

But the whale was still seen floating on the waters in Hung Shek Mun on Sunday.

Pictures of the whale showed that it became bloated with its belly up. It was unclear so far why it stranded.

On Sunday morning, officers from the marine police and Ocean Park got on a speed board and got near to where the whale was stranded. They observed the whale from a distance with telescopes, apparently discussing what they can do with the whale.

UPDATE

Tragic tale of creature that came from sea (The Standard)

Hilary Wong

Monday, March 31, 2014

A whale nearly 11 meters long that washed up in a marine park in Tai Po had likely died in the open sea, experts said.

The decaying carcass was discovered by hikers off Plover Cove in Hung Shek Mun near the Yan Chau Tong Marine Park on Saturday.

Experts conducted a necropsy and took samples for further laboratory tests. It is believed the sea giant was a female Bryde's whale under the Baleen species but this has yet to be confirmed.

In 2005, a Baleen whale was also found dead in the shallow waters of Hong Kong, Dolphin Conservation Society chairman Samuel Hung Ka-yiu said.

He said there could be many reasons for the whale to have beached. "It might have been hit by a fishing vessel, strangled by fishing nets or died due to water pollution," Hung said.

He believes the whale was already dead for a few days judging from its state of decay.

Hung said there is no record of a live Bryde's whale found in Hong Kong's waters, only those which have washed ashore dead.

The bloated body of the whale, measuring 10.8m long, was found belly up, grounded on a reef.

It had many wounds on its body and bloodstains at the corner of its mouth and fins. The shoal where it was found is filled with oyster shells.

Ocean Park's conservation foundation's staff and its veterinarian conducted the necropsy yesterday afternoon. Among the parts they took were organs and adipose layers.

The park's senior veterinarian, Nimal Fernando, believes the whale died of its injuries.

"Maybe this animal got entangled in some rope," he said. "On the carcass there is trauma to the pectoral fins and there's a deep wound going all the way down to the bone, and there are zigzagging wounds across the carcass and some deep wounds found as well, which suggest it got entangled by something.

"When the whale was finally freed, it died afterwards."

He said it could have been entangled in fishing nets or a fishing line.

The carcass was taken away by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department after the necropsy, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.


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