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Baby whale found in northern Ambergris Caye #543695
07/24/20 11:57 AM
07/24/20 11:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,069
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Images reaching our news room show what appears to be a disoriented baby whale near the coast in northern Ambergris Caye. While residents near the area are trying to get the fellow back to deep waters, we have been informed that personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve have been dispatched to the area.

Luckily, three tour guides were able to remove the whale from the beach and swam her out to the open ocean. A quick response team from Hol Chan Marine Reserve headed by marine biologist Kirah Forman and other conservationists are on their way. Thank you for your wonderful work.

San Pedro Sun


Re: Baby whale found in northern Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #543700
07/25/20 04:34 AM
07/25/20 04:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,069
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Early Friday morning Hol Chan was notified that there was a whale stranded on the beach in northern Ambergris Caye. The persons on the scene who found it, Cesar Hernandez, Emmanuel Garcia, and Thomas Ack were very concerned about its welfare. While they awaited additional assistance from the HCMR staff to arrive, recognizing the distress of the baby whale they immediately began efforts to move it into deeper water. Thanks to the efforts of these three gentlemen, the whale was guided outside the reef into deeper water.

The whale was identified as a baby sperm whale. It was very recently birthed, the remnants of the umbilical cord still visible. Baby sperm whales stay with their mother and nurse for over a year. In the case of this whale it somehow got separated from its mother. A mark from a shark bite was visible near the tail, it is not known whether an attack from a shark may have led to the mother and calf getting separated. The chances of this calf (baby whales are referred to as a calf) surviving without its mother is very slim. Calves feed on their mothers milk and also need their mothers protection. There is no facility in Belize that would be able to care for a whale even as a newborn.

Whales communicate through echolocation and this calf can already make sounds to communicate with its mom. The hope is that by guiding it outside the reef it would be able to use its form of communication to reach out to its mom and be reunited.

Hol Chan would like to give a big thank you to Cesar, Emmanuel, and Thomas who are really the heroes by reporting and doing all they could to assist the baby sperm whale. We also want to thank Miguel Alamilla who came out to assist the HCMR team. Thanks to Jamal Galves, Program Director of Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Research Institute for your guidance and liaising with vets on how to handle the situation.

Thanks to the San Pedro Community for all the calls reporting the stranding. We are a community that cares.

Reports can be made to Hol Chan through our 24hr hotline number: 614-3625.

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Hol Chan Marine Reserve

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New-born Sperm Whale rescued in northern Ambergris Caye

On the morning of Friday, July 24th, North Ambergris Caye residents Cesar Hernandez, Emmanuel Garcia, and Thomas Ack discovered what appeared to be a new-born Sperm Whale near the beach. They assisted the calf in getting back to deeper waters, while personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) headed to the area to render assistance.

It is known that from the time of birth, Sperm Whale calves need their mother to protect them from predators. According to a statement by HCMR, the whale was very recently birthed as the remnants of the umbilical cord were still visible. Baby sperm whales stay with their mother and nurse for over a year. In the case of this whale, it somehow got separated from its mother. A mark from a shark bite was visible near the tail, and it is suspected that this may have led to the mother and calf getting separated. The chance of this sperm whale calf surviving without its mother is very slim. Calves feed on their motherís milk and also need their motherís protection. There is no facility in Belize that would be able to care for a whale, even as a new-born. The hope is that by guiding it outside the reef it would be able to use its form of communication to reach out to its mother and be reunited.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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Next 3 pics by Miguel Alamilla

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Re: Baby whale found in northern Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #543728
07/26/20 05:30 AM
07/26/20 05:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,069
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Sperm Whale Calf Passes Away

UPDATE: Over the past two days Hol Chan has been diligently working with a team of persons to find the best possible outcome for the stranded sperm whale calf. The team included local biologists, local and international veterinarians, tour guides and operators, and members of the Belize Stranding Network.

The attempts made to reunite the calf with its mom where unsuccessful. Late, Friday evening we were notified that it had come back into shore. It survived the night. In the morning marine biologist from Hol Chan with assistance from the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, Saga Humane Society, and the vets from Clearwater Marine Aquarium on standby via phone headed out to the location. Unfortunately, upon arrival, the calf had died just moments before.

Sperm whales do not inhabit our offshore water, and when sited they are considered to be in transit. Likely, the pod has since moved on. There have been no reported sitings of any adult whales in the area. While we will never know exactly how the mother and calf got separated, one speculation is that the newborn calf may have been sick already and couldn't keep up. When it was first observed it was already listing to one side as it swam. All the advice coming from experts with experience in whale strandings was that is since this was a newborn it did not have a chance of survival without its mother. Its chances of survival would have been higher had it been an older juvenile or an adult.

Hol Chan would like to thank Jamal Galves, Program Director for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Insitute and the veterinarians from Clearwater who answered our many questions and were willing to provide all the advice and support needed. Thanks to Mr. Phillip Leslie, Rickilee Response & Rescue, San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, Micheal Cain Blue Heaven Dive Shop, Steve Bowen(Scuba Steve). Thanks to Ingrid Lima our amazing local vet, and Saga Humane Society.

We hope the loss of this amazing creature was not in vain and the bones can be used to inspire youths through our education and outreach program. Thanks to Gill and the staff at Canary Cove for assisting with this.

Lastly, thanks to all the persons who showed concern through our FB page, and made recommendations. We wish the outcome would have been different, but we are comforted to know that all persons involved did all they could.

We would like to state that under the Fisheries Act, 2020 whales are fully protected in Belize. All strandings should be reported to the Belize Fisheries Department or their nearest office. In Ambergris that is the office of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve


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