A Very Sad Day....
24 January 2008 - 11:33am
I had two colleagues (Emma and Sarah) with me from WDCS on Tuesday, we had been doing some filming with a television channel about the Oil & Gas exploration in the Moray Firth when we got a telephone call that a dolphin had stranded on the beach near Chanonry Point. We were right nearby so we drove quickly to see what had happpened. When we ran down the beach my heart sank as we saw this long, grey shape lying on the beach, still alive. As I got closer however I realised that the head shape was wrong for a dolphin and that the dorsal fin was much further back too - it wasn't a bottlenose dolphin at all but a much rarer Sowerby's Beaked whale, and a very young one at that. Somehow it had become separated from its mother, who was nowhere to be seen in the waters around the Point. This was absolutely tragic, as the young whale was still dependent on its mother for milk and protection - without her the little one simply would not survive.
In the end, the whale and vet expert advice that was given was terribly sad, and that the young whale had to be put down to end its suffering. This will be a day that my colleagues and I will never forget, and all of us at WDCS are so sad that this beautiful young whale, about which we know so little about, had to end its life stranded on a beach rather than swimming happily beside its mother away out at sea, where all cetaceans should be - wild and free.