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Stay away

Anare Ravula In Tovu, Totoya, Lau
Thursday, October 25, 2012

VILLAGERS of Dravuwalu, Totoya in Lau have been advised to stay away from the 15-metre humpback whale that has been seen in the nearby Naivakamatuku lagoon for about a month.

It is understood two whales were stranded in the same lagoon but one managed to swim free.

The one remaining in the lagoon continues to swim around the 10-metre deep lagoon located at the bottom of the bay at Dravuwalu.

This newspaper has established that this is not the first time whales have found themselves stranded in the same lagoon.

The last one was in 1996 where a humpback whale was also stranded.

And also way back in the 1980s, a sperm whale was stranded in Udu Village with villagers collecting 47 whalestooth.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society's Dr Cara Miller, who is on the island, has advised villagers that the stranded whale is not a sperm whale but a humpback.

She said this whale used its tail and fin as weapons.

"Villagers should not go closer to the humpback whale because it can be dangerous and it also carries diseases," Dr Miller said.

She has also been conducting workshops in Dravuwalu, Tovu, and Ketei on conservation of whales and dolphins.

Roko sau of Totoya Josefa Cinavilakeba said they were also working on a study to find out what attracted whales to that lagoon.

Villagers have been frequenting the lagoon to see this magnificent creature and it performs every time there is an audience. The villagers also tried to assist the whale out of the lagoon but failed, and they have decided to leave it alone until such time when it is able to swim freely out into the open.

Adult humpback whales, found in oceans and seas around the world, range in length from 12 to 16 metres and weighs about 36,000kg.

They typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year. They feed only in summer, in polar waters, and they migrate to tropical and subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter, says Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.





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