Wednesday 16 October 2019

Nine-tonne whale found dead in Amazon jungle

 

Marine specialists from the Bicho D'agua Institute, a conservation group based on Marajo, are part of the team examining the whale, thought to have died several days before it was found (stock photo)
Marine specialists from the Bicho D'agua Institute, a conservation group based on Marajo, are part of the team examining the whale, thought to have died several days before it was found (stock photo)

Tim Wyatt

Wildlife experts have been left baffled after discovering a dead humpback whale in the Amazon rainforest.

The nine-tonne mammal was found in the jungle undergrowth on the island of Marajo, which sits at the mouth of the Amazon River.

Although scientists presume the enormous creature was hurled onshore during a storm, they do not understand how it came so far inland or why it was swimming off the coast.

Officials from Para state's environment department said they only found the 11-metre long whale after following the birds of prey which were scavenging on its huge carcass.

The remains were deposited in such a remote part of the mangrove swamp in the Amazonian delta it took two trips for the wildlife experts to reach the site.

Marine specialists from the Bicho D'agua Institute, a conservation group based on Marajo, are part of the team examining the whale, thought to have died several days before it was found.

Renata Emin, the institutes's project leader, said: "We're still not sure how it landed here, but we're guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove."

Ms Emin said it was very rare that humpback whales were found so far north in February. It is believed to be a calf which became separated from its mother while migrating south.

Irish Independent

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