February 23rd, 2016. OLONGAPO CITY—A wounded false killer whale that was stranded along the shoreline of Botolan town in Zambales last weekend was released back into the sea on Tuesday morning.
The 12-foot-long female false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) appeared “weak and traumatized” when the residents found it in Barangay (village) Porac on Sunday afternoon, said Dr. Liezel Monido, veterinary at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Cental Luzon.
“The whale washed up on the shoreline because it lost its echolocation probably due to blast fishing,” Monido told the Inquirer by phone.
Echolocation refers to special sense that allows whales to navigate in turbid water and into the darkest depths of the sea.
Monido said the 500 kilogram whale could have also been trapped in a fish net because of the net marks found on its body.
“The whale also sustained small shark bites but these are all minor wounds,” Monido said.
Rescue workers from BFAR, the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the local Bantay Dagat (Sea Watch) worked overnight to treat the whale at a rehabilitation site in nearby Barangay Binoclutan, she said.
“The whale has not completely lost its buoyancy and is now very healthy. Our Bantay Dagat volunteers escorted it as it was released back into the sea this morning,” Monido said.