A whale with a broken spine migrated five thousand kilometers

Due to a severe spinal injury, the fin whale, named Moon, cannot move its tail fin at all, and its body is curved in an S-shape. However, this did not prevent him from making a 5,000-kilometer voyage from Canada to Hawaii.

“Without its tail, it practically made its way through its migration. It’s quite impressive,” he said. Janie Wray, CEO and chief researcher at the nonprofit organization BC Whales prof guardianto. “And heartbreaking at the same time.”

Every September for the past decade, the moon has appeared around Fin Island in British Columbia, Canada, feeding in waters rich in krill (tiny crustaceans). Two years ago, researchers were able to observe her with a calf. However, in September, a drone image painted a sad picture for the whale:

He sustained a serious injury which resulted in his body being bent in an S-shape – it is believed he may have hit a ship.

According to Ray, they had never seen anything like this.

However, despite his severe injury, Moon appeared on the island of Maui (Hawaii) on December 1, more than 4,800 kilometers from where the drone image revealing his injury was taken.

The long migration of fin whales is little known to researchers: they migrate from the cold, food-rich waters of Alaska to the warm coasts of Mexico and Hawaii, where they breed and give birth to offspring. It’s part of the species’ way of life, so it’s no surprise that the Moon follows the usual route. He came to the finish line with such a serious injury. But this is where the journey ended for him, as he had completely depleted his fat reserves and his body was covered in parasites.

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“He’s suffering and yet he’s still alive. We know he’s not coming back to us. He’s going to die soon, and we all feel the sooner the better.”

Warri said. There was a possibility that he might be euthanized, but this would require the use of a toxic cocktail that would later poison the organisms that would devour his remains. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities for meddling in open water. However, his case highlights a long-standing problem: collisions between cetaceans and ships. Fin whale populations are slowly replenishing from losses from whaling, but shipping must also adapt to the growing number of individuals.

According to Ray

It will be important to limit the top speed of ships in areas used by whales — because no matter how routine someone is at sea, if a whale appears right in front of them, only choosing the right speed can help avoid a collision.

According to him, similar to residential and recreational areas, where vehicle speeds are limited, “whale areas” should be created in the sea, where ships must observe similar restrictions.

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