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Phinda Wildlife Research Project: 28 November - 12 December 2023*  

Stephanie Koedinger: marine landscape

Baby sperm whale at Mauritius

Our volunteer, Kirsty, updates us on life in Mauritius and working with a distressed baby sperm whale:

"The last thing you would expect on a Sunday evening is an urgent call out for a stranded baby sperm whale on the reef but that is exactly what happened on Sunday 17th January 2010. We got the call from our skipper, Bruno and it was all hands on deck to get the rescue team together and pack the boat to go out and see if we could help the disorientated whale. We found a three-metre, week-old calf circling the reef in shallow water just outside Black River Bay. We made several attempts to guide him back out to sea, but sadly he was too distressed and disorientated to change direction.

Finally, it became unsafe for us to stay out in the boat because it turned dark very quickly. It was a sad moment for us to have to leave him and watch him struggling on the Reef but we had to leave him to his destiny and let Mother Nature run its course. A very disheartened team headed back to shore that evening…. with the plan to go back and check the Reef the next day. There was no trace of the Whale when we returned the next morning."