Posted by: The ocean update | October 15, 2015

Stranded sperm whale freed in Chiayi (Taiwan)

beached-sperm-whale-TaiwanOctober 15th, 2015 (Chiang Jun-liang and Lee Mei-yu). Taipei. The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and marine experts on Thursday helped a mature sperm return to the ocean after it was found stranded near the shoreline of Chiayi County earlier in the day.

The whale, about 15 meters long and weighing 10 tons, was first spotted about 3 kilometers off Dongshi Township by fishermen early Thursday morning.

Experts from the Taiwan Cetacean Society and Marine Biology & Cetacean Research Center at National Cheng Kung University were called in to assess the situation.

The rescue team tried to lure the whale into deep waters, but hours later it was still stranded.

Worried that the whale might not survive a low tide, the experts and CGA personnel tied a rope around the sea mammal and dragged it to Budai Harbor during a high tide at dusk.

At 5:00 p.m. the rescue team removed the rope, hoping the whale would make its way back into open waters on its own.

Marine experts say that whales can become stranded for many reasons, including illness, injury, weather conditions, and sonar disruption of their ability to communicate with others in their pod.

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