TACLOBAN CITY- A melon-headed whale (Peponecephala electra) died two days after it was washed ashore at the Cancabato Bay, this city.
The regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in a statement posted on its Facebook account, said that the whale was sighted near Alimasag Fisherman area in Cancabato Bay on Dec.28 after it was washed ashore due to the rough sea condition spawned by tropical depression ‘Usman.’
The 2.5-meter-long adult marine mammal was brought to the Fishery Law Enforcement Team (FLET) of the Tacloban city government the following day (Dec.29) and was reported to BFAR Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG).
The whale was discovered to be emaciated, has superficial skin scratches and cookie-cutter shark bites.
Still, the whale was brought back and released to the Cancabato Bay at 10 am on that day (Dec.29) as its respiration appeared to be normal and the weather has improved.
However, it re-stranded at around 11:30 a.m. near the shoreline of Leyte Park Hotel and at the old Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, both here in the city.
The FPLEG team then responded and brought it to BFAR Coastal Resource Management Center in Barangay Diit, also this city, for temporary care.
However, the shark refused to eat and at around 10:30 pm, it was observed that the shark was having a rapid breathing until it died at around 12:30 am on December 30, 2018, BFAR reported.
The whale’s carcass was buried at the dumping site of the city in Barangay Santo Niño in the afternoon of that day.
Based on the necropsy report, starvation and parasitism were the possible cause of death of the melon-headed whale.
The IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature), an international organization that works for nature’s conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, the melon-headed whale is not included on its list of threatened or endangered species.