Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Ring Whale

Here are some images I took last week (Sunday 21st August) near Ring, Co. Waterford of the remains of a 10 metre long Sperm Whale which live-stranded on the previous Friday.

The animal had tracked close to the South East coast of Ireland for a number of days prior to stranding, leading experts to believe that he was sick.

The whale is now gone - removed and incinerated by Waterford County Council. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) had earlier called for the remains to be used constructively:

"This is a wasted opportunity", according to the group. "The specimen, could have made a fantastic educational resource, not to mention the tourism potential that would flow from such a unique local attraction. The lack of vision from the powers that be is disappointing, especially when one considers that Youghal, in East Cork is only 15 miles away, and is where the original masterpiece "Moby Dick" was filmed with Gregory Peck back in 1955."

I have to say, it was disturbing to see that the carcass had already been poorly treated by the time I reached Ring on Sunday- two days after the stranding. Names and slogans had been carved into the dead animal's blubber and people had obviously attempted (successfully in some cases) to remove teeth from the whale.

According to the IWDG, by the 23rd, "human scavengers had already sawed off the lower jaw bones over-night, so the specimen was no longer intact and the initiative was lost".


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