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  • I'm just back from our summer holidays in Baltimore in West Cork.

    While we were there a young female Blue Fin Whale swam into the harbour and got trapped right beside the pier. We were told that this 50 foot mammal was sick and swam inshore to die. On the first day sailors tried to coax her back out to sea but failed. There was nothing anybody could do.

    As each day passed, the whale became weaker and the situation became more and more hopeless. Everybody in the village felt helpless as all we could do was to look on and hope. The whale got more distressed and lashed its bleeding bulk against the pier wall. Marine biologists and other experts were called but nothing could be done and on the fourth day the whale died. The body was later transported to a marine research lab in Waterford.

    That was the story - those are the facts - no happy ending unfortunately.

    However I did feel better later when I heard that while this 'little' whale was dying, a few miles away, the rest of its family slowly swam around at the mouth of the harbor making those haunting whale sounds. They stayed there for four days until their whale died and then turned seaward and departed.
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