Baby pygmy killer whale dies after being stranded in Ilocos coast


PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte —- A four-foot long female baby pygmy killer whale died after being stranded in shallow waters in Sitio Dirique, Davilla village, this town on Thursday morning, villagers said.

Fisherman Domingo La Torre said that at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, they spotted the stranded marine mammal near the shoreline and immediately brought it to safer ground.

An hour later, trained first responders of endangered marine mammals from the provincial fisheries office headed by Arthur Valente and Dr. Jen Suliva from the Provincial Veterinary Office, arrived to help rescue the stranded marine animal. They then decided to release her immediately to be reunited with her mother who may just be near the stranding site.

On board a motorized boat, rescuers brought the baby pygmy to the wild while trying to locate her mother but before they could release her, she died.

Result of a necropsy analysis showed that the stranded marine animal was probably dehydrated and stressed.

According to Valente, this is so far the first stranding case recorded this year. Unfortunately, responders failed to successfully release it.

“Time element is very important. Sadly, the stranded whale was newly born and she may have been still adjusting when she got stranded.

In previous years, Ilocos Norte was identified as a hot spot for stranded marine mammals. Of the total number of stranding cases, majority was successfully released and rehabilitated by trained responders of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network-Ilocos Norte Chapter.

Based on observation, Valente said a depressed marine mammal might be hungry, and was stranded as it searched for food. LEILANIE ADRIANO/PNA –