By Chris King • 07 May 2021 • 22:30
Lost - An Eight Metre Long Grey Whale Off The Catalonia Coast.
LOST – An Eight Metre Long Pacific Ocean Grey Whale Off The Catalonia Coast
In an incredible failure of nature, an eight-metre-long grey whale – whose normal habitat is the vast Pacific Ocean – is totally lost and has been spotted heading through the Mediterranean towards the Spanish coast of Catalonia.
Specialists from the Generalitat’s fauna service, the Department of Territory and Sustainability, together with rural officers using helicopters, are at sea monitoring the waters off the coast of Catalonia in the hope of sighting the mammal they have dubbed ‘Wally’, who, it is feared, could die, unless he can be redirected back out into the Atlantic, from where he could cross back to his normal surroundings.
Biologists have estimated that Wally is a two-year-old grey whale (eschrichtius robustus), and they are concerned by his apparent loss of weight, as he will be unable to find the invertebrates that are his normal food source in the depths of the Pacific.
Wally, who can travel 80 to 90km per day, was initially sighted near the Bormes-les-Mimosas coast of France, and then off Morocco in March, then again in Italian waters near Naples, and then Rome, and finally, Genoa, having entered the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar.
Eric Hansen, the director of the state biodiversity agency in southern France, told Reuters, “We are very concerned about its future, since its fat reserves, which is its fuel for travel, has been greatly reduced. The animal is exhausted and has only skin on bones. We have not seen it eat since we started tracking it”.
Adding, “He is trying to get into the ports as if looking for a way out. His strategy should work and we hope he can return to Gibraltar in about a week”, as reported by lavanguardia.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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