Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Hundreds Of Dolphins Stranded Last February 10, 2009 In Bataan, Philippines...
ORION, Philippines – At least 200 melon-headed whales flocked to shallow waters of Manila Bay on Tuesday, prompting a massive rescue by hundreds of volunteers and fishermen who used their boats and hands to drive them back to deep seas. The unusual occurrence may have been triggered by a sea quake that could have damaged the whales' eardrums and disoriented them, or the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader, Malcolm Sarmiento, director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said in a telephone interview.
He said the dolphins — between 200 and 300 of them — were spotted about a mile (1.6 kilometers) off shore, swimming back and forth between Pilar and Orion townships in Bataan province. Fishermen and villagers trooped to the beach and waded into the chest-deep water, clapping their hands and hitting the surface to drive the whales away. More than 20 boats with their engines shut guided the animals to the open sea.
"It's something unusual. It's the first time that such a large pod has entered Manila Bay, and is acting strangely," Sarmiento said. Alberto Venturina, the provincial veterinarian, said three dead melon-headed whales found beached farther up north in Abucay township include two adult females, one of which was pregnant, and an infant male. The two adults had damaged eardrums, he added.
Another beached whale was in the process of being rescued, Venturina said. Dolphins [whales] with injured eardrums become disoriented, cannot dive for food and are too weak to swim and just flow with the current, he said. If it's a sick leader, the animal needs to be identified and taken out of sight of the rest of the pod so the healthy dolphins could be prodded back to sea, he said.
Fisheries officials were coordinating with private groups and fishermen to stop the whales from being beached and prevent more deaths, he said. Wardens were positioned around the area and fishermen warned not to harm the whales.
That's my province Bataan and my hometown Orion, Philippines... I wish I was their. My niece told me last night that his father are one of the spectators and one of those who help to save the dolphins… How lucky they are saw almost 300 dolphins in one place. Doesn’t expect ah… And the day after that brilliant experienced almost of the fisherman caught a large amount of fish and crabs. I hope it brings a lucky charm to the entire fisherman out their.