Whales – starvation or not?

WHALES are likely starving and entering dangerously shallow water in a desperate search for food. Whales are not immune to starvation.

The 650-plus pilot whales beached at Farewell Spit, New Zealand, provide ‘canary in the coal mine’ warning of the state of the world ocean. There are a number of possible whale stranding scenarios. Whales are air breathing mammals. Mammals have instinct to avoid drowning.

A sick and weakened mammal can be expected to instinctively seek shallow water to avoid drowning. Healthy whales appear to follow even one suffering in their pod. Animal behaviour in a herd of goats is similar. First-hand experience reveals when one goat in a mob of 25 is shot in a culling event the rest of the mob sometimes just stand there apparently stunned.

When another is shot the mob might remain without running away. Then another and another and another can be shot and the remainder will continue to stay until only a few remain, then those run away. Shark or killer whale mauling of whales likely also leads to weakness and stranding.

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