Thursday, August 21, 2008

A moment of silence for Colin the whale

I've been following a story from Australia about a baby humpback whale that has been trying to suckle from yachts and other ships. Poor thing was abandoned and latched on (literally) to anything that vaguely resembled Mama Whale.

But, of course, trying to suckle a yacht is not going to help a baby whale (the Australians have named it Colin). Marine experts were monitoring its health and they have determined that it is in very poor condition, and injured -- possibly from a shark attack.

And so, the decision was made to euthenize Colin. I am surprised that there was no way to bring the whale into captivity and feed it. The original article that I read said that because the whale had not been weaned, there was no way that humans could feed it properly. Was there not an aquarium that could have taken him in? Or is that just not possible with humpbacks?

On the other hand, Nature is not benevolent...Nature is. If the whale had not wandered into human territory, it would have died, as all such creatures do. So perhaps human interference isn't what is called for in this case. Let Nature do as it always does....keep the balance of those who are strong enough to survive and let go of the others. It's not pretty or clean. It just is.

I suppose the only positive note here is that Colin will not die alone. He will be surrounded by other mammals who will comfort him as best they can and send him on to wherever innocent, dead whales go when life on earth ends for them.

Peace be with you, Colin.

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