Wailing for a Baby Whale



I became very disenchanted with Australia's ecological outlook in the last few weeks. Perhaps the crux of the situation was the situation with "Colin" now known to be Colleen the baby Whale. 

For those of you who are not aware of the event that was televised world wide here are a few brief pieces of information

In the early hours of August 19th 2008 boat operators awoke to a weird nuzzling sound on the bottom of their boats, they found a baby whale attempting to suckle the boat. 

Media scrambled and it was on the morning news but very quickly NSW Parks and Wildlife stepped in "to protect the whale"

There was a lot of media coverage and websites were set up, even a yahoo group came into existence as the PWS stated there would be no intervention and the community fought to help.

The "Powers that be" firmly put there foot down and stated no one would be allowed close enough to feed the babay and if anyone did they would get prosecuted.

Scientific debate (hah!) about what could be done included argument that the whale would have no language and could never be released, the cost of "baby formula" would be massive and that we don't know what to feed it.

One guy found the formula for a baby humpback on the internet 

Regardless, reports from authorities stated the baby whale was deteriorating and after five days without food they decided to euthanase it.

And even though it had worldwide publicity, the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service had ultimate control over the outcome. The NSW premier was touched by the story but did he fight for this baby? It is at times like this we begin to realise just how big a gap there is in Australia without Steve Irwin. 

Coincidently, Australia's Sea Shepherd ship is known as the Steve Irwin. Somehow we managed to fund the ship going to chase Japanese Whalers, a job they were very successful at, but when it comes to a baby whale the government cries poor. In one report Someone had the balls to state that Australia does not have the resources to support the whale, but did anyone give the average Aussie a chance? Of course not. Colin was dispensed with for convenience under the guise of his best interest. However, if he was so malnourished, so weak and injured how was it he was fit enough to fight the PWS when they dragged him to shore. Reports say he fought the entire 300m.

And while they were "putting him out of his misery" onshore there stood a crowd of distressed people, all who had come up with offers to help keep him alive, inventions to feed him and one man with the recipe for the formula that would nourish a baby whale, a simple recipe he found on the Internet.

The autopsy afterwards showed that Colin was actually female and in rather good health so lets give a cheer for economic rationalism because ultimately that was what killed "Colin"

Further Links

A Website dedicated to the Whale

A News Story

Or take a political stance with a difference and Colour in Colin

And send it back to the address on the page to let your opinion be known

The crying shame here is that although Parks and Wildlife accepted responsibility for the whale they never allowed anyone near it in an attempt to protect it but also, in accepting responsibility did nothing to alleviate the situation. They had volunteers from hour five offering to assist, one guy was prepared to donate his boat and drill a hole in the bottom to poke a makeshift teat through, another three had turned up with massive quantities of milk and fish. But no one was allowed to even discuss helping, there was no brainstorming session, no public debate and no political push to save him. 

And ultimately, as human beings, we love whales. The money would have been there, from around the globe, through the power of the media and the internet and the global people movement to fund such a venture would have been sufficient to save one defenceless orphaned baby whale.

Let's not have it Happen again.



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