But heart strings are tugging, I mean really tugging. As I mentioned before, it's whale season here and Adam and I are heading out onto the open seas on August 31st for a Whale Watch Tour but a little baby humpback has been separated from it's mother and is pootling about the calm waters of Pittwater in Sydney, attempting to suckle small boats. I'm so upset. Don't know why but for some reason it's mother has abandoned it and attempts to coerce the little one out to sea aren't working. There are no facilities here big enough to hand raise a humpback so the poor little sap hasn't had a meal since Friday last. Had he been abandoned in San Diego, apparently they have successfully hand reared and released a grey whale there . .
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman John Dengate said today the calf was about two to three weeks old and would not survive for long on its own. "It absolutely needs its mother, or another whale to adopt it,” he said. “It's heart-wrenching. Normally whales stay very very close to their mothers, they're inseparable and they suckle for 11 months before being weaned.” Maybe mum was sick, maybe the baby's a sandwich short of a picnic, or just a very naughty boy who went exploring instead of staying with the program, but there is no saving this little darling who thinks that boat hulls are potential dinner plates.
Pittwater is the inner side of the Palm Beach peninsular. On one side, surf beach (those who watch Home and Away will recognise Palm Beach) on the sheltered side is exclusive hillside housing and the calm refuge of moorings for boat enthusiasts. "Colin" (God it's even worse that they've given him a name, the Stockholm effect is in full swing!) is floundering in the calm waters of Pittwater and hasn't had a feed since Friday.Attempts to coax him out through the Heads into another pod have failed. He's a baby . . . he's like a three year old lost in a busy shopping centre and incapable of crying "Mummy!" and totally unaware of Stranger Danger!
Poor little Colin has days rather than weeks. Apparently, artificial feeding would not be possible, and the calf's only chance was is to find a female whale that would accept him as her own. Never have I wanted more to be a humpback whale! Unlikely he'll find an adoption since most females are cruising up the coast with their own calves. They're starving, having given birth along the north western coast of the Arctic Circle and Canada, swum just about 12,000 miles along the west coast of the Americas, across the Great Southern Ocean and waiting for the smorgasbord that awaits in Antarctica
This begs the question, intervention or leave alone? I often marvel at documentary makers such as those who make Big Cat Diary and how they can watch these animals fade and flounder without interruption or interference. Personally, I'd net off the entirety of Pittwater, leave the rich and famous isolated (they can do without their yachts for 3 months) and feed the kid formula until he was big and strong and did a Happy Feet kind of mega-sojourn into the Antarctic, wave him off with a big huzzah! "Go Col, kill some Krill!" But sadly wildlife conservation isn't like that.
It seems to me slightly ironic that Greenpeace will cause a helluva hullabaloo to save adult whales from Japanese slaughter in the most in hospitable of environments yet one baby begging for food in the affluent waters of Pittwater faces euthanasia or starvation . . they remember you know! He's a babe in the waters and destined for a dart (ultimately preferable to starving to death I suppose) probably by the end of the week. Poor little possum . . at least he'll end up with a posthumous tale to tell in the Maritime Museum or Sydney Aquarium, where his bones will be displayed as a scientific specimen for all to wonder at and admire. Surely this is madness. Net Pittwater, feed the kid and when he's strong enough (and at the rate they grow, we're talking October) drag him out beyond the heads to catch the stragglers. . . .
God I hate seeing animals suffer . . . it's far worse than people because they have no control over their destiny. We on the other hand devise ways to shoot the shit out of each other, wield machettes, poison our air . . . Shit just happens for animals. Tell me this doesn't tug at your heart strings? If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it fall ?. . . How many others fall without the gaze of Channel 7 Cameras? I don't care, I think we could do something to help this one! Maybe being a mother separated from her own 'calf' has turned me into moosh.