Bryde's whale makes waves in Rio
Wed, 21 Mar 2012 2:30p.m.
By 3 News online staff
An adult whale has been found floating near a beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Experts will investigate what caused the death in a nearby port.
It has been identified it as a Bryde's whale by the Aqualung Institute today.
The whale was hauled away from Sao Conrado beach by rescue workers to a nearby port where it will be carefully analysed by experts. Dozens of curious passers-by stopped to watch the huge mammal's recovery.
Firefighter Alan Marconi said the team's first measure was to tie up the whale in order to prevent it from hitting the rocks.
"We went there to evaluate the situation and we saw that it was dead. Then we came back and got a rope to try to haul it or just keep it from drifting in some way," he said.
Auckland's Hauraki Gulf holds one of the few resident populations of Bryde's whale known in the world. Ship strikes have been identified as the primary cause for their deaths, according to 'Sharing the waters: minimising ship collisions in Bryde's whales in the Hauraki Gulf' by Rochelle Constantine, Natacha Aguilar Soto and Mark Johnson.
The strikes frequently go unnoticed by the ships' crew and carcasses may not show external signs of impact - the identification of broken bones and/or internal haemorrhages requires a full necropsy.
Adult Bryde's whales weigh between 13 and 25 tonnes and males are slightly smaller than females. Despite their size, they are vulnerable to ship strikes because they spend most of their time near the surface.
3 News / Reuters
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