In late September, a white whale cub appeared on a beach in Alaska, USA, and a recovery center had to take care of it. Puppies can not survive on their own, so it could not return to the water all by itself. This is the story of the rescued white whale cub.
White whales are whales that live in the Arctic and surrounding areas. A white whale is reminiscent of both a whale and a dolphin, although its closest relative is the narwhal. When the white whale is fully grown, it measures between three and five meters long and can weigh up to 1,200 kilos. They are social beings who live and travel in groups.
In late September 2017, a one-year-old white whale cub appeared on a beach in Alaska. When they first saw the white whale cub, the rescue team intended to help it return to the sea, but they soon realized that it was very thin and did not have the strength to swim.
They therefore decided to take care of it and take it to the Alaska Sealife Center . In the hours following its arrival, white whale experts came from various cities in the United States to help care for the rescued white whale cub and help it recover.
When it arrived at the center, they were able to make the assessment that the rescued white whale cub was a male and about four weeks old. It was thin and dehydrated, so much so that it could not maintain its own body heat.
The experts began checking all aspects of its health as soon as it arrived at the center: they performed blood tests, examined bacterial cultures and monitored its respiration. After they managed to restore its fluid balance, they began to notice improvements in its health. In just a few days, it began swimming on its own and playing with its guardians.
During the first days it was so weak that they had to feed it through a tube every three hours. But after a few weeks, it already had enough strength to suck from a bottle. But because of the bottle, it began to suffer from gas colic, just like human children, and its attendants had to help it belch!
At present, the rescued white whale cub is still being cared for. Its only health problems were dehydration and low weight.
The Alaska Sealife Center is the only aquarium open to the public in Alaska. It also serves as a recovery center for marine life, as it cares for orphaned and injured animals. Some animals may return to life in the wild, but those who would not survive may remain in the care of the recovery center.
The rescued white whale is not in a pool that is open to the public at the moment. White whale experts monitor it 24 hours a day, seven days a week in an indoor pool. This is a much quieter and more controlled environment than the aquarium pools.
Experts have not yet made a decision on whether or not to return the rescued white whale cub to the wild. However, this usually means that there are currently no plans to return it. They do not know why it was separated from its group, and they doubt that it could join its group again.
Because it has spent so much time around humans instead of other white whales, it would also not know how to hunt or how to survive on its own in the wild.
Every year, news of stranded whales appears, all over the world. It can be anything from large whales to dolphins that are disoriented or sick, and therefore end up on a beach. They can even be cubs from all different species, such as this rescued white whale cub.
When an animal is sick, the speed at which humans act is very important for their recovery. Knowing what to do for the animal and respecting its space is important for it to survive.
In the summer of 2017, a group of tourists found, for example, a stranded dolphin cub. Instead of helping it, they took selfies with it until it died. This sad news upset many around the world. Therefore, it is important to know what to do if you come across an endangered animal.
First check if the animal is alive or not. See if it is breathing and if it is touching its eyes. If it is alive, call the county administrative board or the police on 114 14 and follow their instructions.
If you are in an easily accessible area, protect the animal from stress caused by humans. In other words, if there are curious people in the area, keep them away. Normally, the rescue service will ask you to keep the animal in the shade and damp. You can do this by placing wet towels on the animal and by constantly pouring seawater on it.
Return to the sea or not?
Although it may seem that you could return the animal to the sea alone, you should not do so unless a veterinarian assesses that the animal is healthy and can survive. If it has been stranded on a beach, it is because it is sick or has no strength to swim. To return it to the sea would be to sentence it to death.
If the stranded animal is already dead, you must notify the nature conservation service or any police unit intended for nature conservation, so that they can remove the body. In any case, you should never touch an animal’s carcass, as you may become ill.
Your help is important
Tyonek, the rescued white whale cub, recovers very well thanks to the quick and correct action of the person who found it stranded. Being responsible and knowing what to do in such cases is important for an endangered animal to survive.
Image source: www.telecinco.es