July 7th, 2016. A giant ‘baleen’ whale got stranded in the shallow waters on the northern side of Hare Island here on Wednesday. It was pushed back into deep waters at a distance of 150 metres from the shore.
The whale, weighing about two and a half tonnes (Ed Sibylline : not the right weight), measured 15 metres in length, said C. Nellai Nayagam, Forest Range Officer, Thoothukudi (in-charge). It was spotted by fishermen around 5 p.m.
Staff of forest and fisheries departments and volunteers from National Troopers for Conservation of Nature pushed the whale back into the sea after coordinated efforts. Though the whale did not return to the shore even after an hour, the watch and ward staff of the Forest Department were staying on the shore to check whether it was returning to the shallow waters.
Amal Xavier, Joint Director of Fisheries, said the whale was slightly injured on its tail but was healthy. Earlier in January, 81 short-finned pilot whales were washed ashore in Manapad area, he recalled.