Pilot whale washes up in Ra

Navunivi villager Akuila Qionibaravi tried to save this washed up pilot whale at Nakorotubu, Ra shoreline but was unsuccessful. Picture: SUPPLIED

JUST weeks after the sighting of an unusually large pod of pilot whales in waters off the Ra coast, a villager found one of the mammals washed up near Navuniivi village in Nakorotubu, Ra.

Akuila Qionibaravi tried to rescue the injured creature but unfortunately, it did not survive.

“It had a wound on its head and was very weak,” he said as he told of how he took the animal out of the swamp and dragged it to deeper waters using his boat.

“Along the way, I could tell that it was no longer breathing.

“It’s just sad that it died when we were trying to take it back.”

He said the Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed that it was pilot whale.

According to WCS, the Vatu-i-Ra passage is home to pilot whales, dolphins and the largest population of nesting hawksbills.

It is one of the few remaining sanctuaries for the globally endangered humphead wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and reef sharks.

*More on this story in today’s The Fiji Times and our e-edition. 

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