Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Whale shooting ‘humane’ says marine biologist

Friday, March 6, 2009
Whale shooting ‘humane’ says marine biologist

The decision to shoot and kill a rare Gray’s beaked whale stranded at Stanmore Bay, north of Auckland, last weekend was a humane one, says the Massey marine biologist who conducted the post-mortem examination, Dr Karen Stockin.

Dr Stockin says the whale was ill, not merely underweight, and she is keen to reassure the public that the decision by Conservation Department staff to kill the whale was necessary to prevent further suffering.

She has been inundated with calls from people upset by the shooting. The whale had been seen in shallow water in the Whangaparaoa area for several weeks prior to its death.

During the post-mortem Dr Stockin found the 4m juvenile male to be sick and in very poor body condition. “The whale had a severely congested liver, a factor which likely played a role in the animal’s pronounced muscle atrophy and severe emaciation,” she says.

“I am concerned that the public still doesn’t understand that this whale was sick. This is not the same as saying this animal was simply underweight and that feeding it would have fixed its underlying health issues,” she says. “An attempt to re-float would have been inhumane and only resulted in further distress and injury.”

Dr Stockin has been involved in refloating stranded marine mammals for more than 10 years and understands why the public want to see these animals rescued.

“In the case of healthy independent animals, that’s what usually happens. However, we were dealing with a sick whale of questionable maturity – we could not be confident this animal was even fully weaned let alone independent enough to survive on its own.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate Unchanged At 1 Percent

The Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 1.0 percent. Employment remains around its maximum sustainable level while inflation remains below the 2 percent target mid-point but within our target range... More>>

ALSO:

Food Prices: Avocados At Lowest Price In Almost Three Years

Avocados are at their cheapest average price since February 2017, with tomato, lettuce, and cucumber prices also falling, Stats NZ said today. More>>

Auckland Port Move: Cabinet Ministers Deliberate On Report

Cabinet ministers now have a copy of a report urging the government to move the Auckland port up north, but say no final decisions have been made. More>>

ALSO:

Toxicology Tests Planned: Dead Rats Washed Up On Beaches

As many as 600 rats washed up on Westport's North Beach over the weekend to the horror of locals. DOC said they may have been killed by a recent 1080 poison drop 140km away and washed down the Buller River after heavy rain battered the coast. More>>

ALSO: