A SIX-METER long humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was buried on Wednesday in Dipaculao, Aurora province after it was found dead on the shore by barangay (village) residents.
Dipaculao Mayor Joana Salamanca said the whale was found dead on the beach in Barangay Lipit at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday
With no available facilities to measure its weight, Salamanca, with the assistance of the municipal agriculture office and Lipit village officials, proceeded with the burying of the humpback whale where seawater could not reach it.
Maylanny Marzan, a village resident, said the animal’s size is double that of a full grown Philippine buffalo.
“This is our first time to see such kind of whale which drifted into shallow waters in our village,” she noted.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said humpback whale of this size (5-6 meters) is a baby or calf of baleen whale species, which is one of the larger rorqual species.
The adults humpback whale reaches a length of 12–16 meters and weighs about 36,000 kilograms.
The BFAR said humpback whales are found in oceans and seas around the world and typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometers each year.
Their population was greatly reduced by whaling in the 1960s and 1970s.
The humpback whale was listed by the United States government as endangered back in 1970 after commercial whaling had drastically reduced their numbers.
Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that most populations of humpback whales are no longer on the US endangered species list, citing international conservation efforts.