PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte, July 23 — A giant sperm whale was found dead by local residents along the shorelines in Barangay Susugaen, this town last Thursday.
Arthur Valente, the fishery regulatory coordinator of the Ilocos Norte’s agriculture office, said the beached female whale weighed about 250 kilograms and measured 10 feet.
The whale bore several wounds in the body and begun to decompose.
Valente, however, said that the wounds may not have led to the whale’s death noting that other factors are being considered.
I took samples from the different parts of the whale’s body for laboratory examination to confirm the cause of its death,” he said.
After documentation, the whale cadaver was temporarily buried in a vacant lot in Barangay Susugaen, Pasuquin town with the assistance of the local residents and the local government unit (LGU).
We buried all recovered dead whales in temporary grounds along the coastal barangays while waiting for a permanent burial place,” he said.
According to Valente, the sperm whale was the fifth whale stranded in the coastal areas in the province since January and the fourth found dead.
Alive sperm whales had become a tourist attraction in the province during summer season when they frequently resurfaced along the Pasaleng Bay in Pagudpud town.
Valente said the province has stepped up its campaign to protect and conserve this kind of endangered mammal species. (Freddie G. Lazaro)