A rare whale species was found dead along the shoreline of Banaybanay town in Davao Oriental on Wednesday after it was allegedly maltreated by locals.
It was first found alive in the shallow seawater after it was stranded on a beachline on Sunday.
Davao City-based marine biologist Darrell Blatchley, who responded to determine the cause of whale’s death and to preserve its bones, said the 15-feet long female marine mammal is a Hotaula Beaked Whale.
“It is one of 20 or less ever seen in the whole world. It was only listed as a new whale in 2013,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Blatchley said nearby residents did not treat the whale well, which led to its death.
“The whale was an attraction for the days it was alive. Sadly, people in the area did not treat it with respect when it was alive,” Blatchley said
“In fact, it was reported to us that a politician paid P1,000 to the locals to ride the sick whale. We won't name the politician. They know who they are,” he added.
The whale was chopped up unceremoniously after three days of torment in the shoreline.
The necropsy of the whale is ongoing to determine the cause of its death.
Blatchley hopes people will take care of stranded marine mammals by immediately calling the authorities for help, and avoid unnecessary interaction.
He also called for proper plastic disposal as plastic ingestion is one of the leading causes of death of marine mammals.—Report from Hernel Tocmo