Witnessing a Whale’s Death Is Not for the Faint of Heart [VIDEO]
Today I watched a whale take its last breath.
Word broke to Fun 107 and the WBSM Newsroom that a whale had stranded itself on the shores of Hoppy's Landing down by West Island in Fairhaven.
Immediately, my colleague and Digital Managing Editor Tim Weisberg and I sprung into action and made our way down the road, only seven minutes from the radio station. It was a natural instinct to just leave without thinking of the repercussions that perhaps the animal could be dead on arrival. Instead, we just did our jobs.
Luckily, once we hit the beach, they allowed the press to go right up to the whale where we were greeted by the team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), who notified us that the whale was still alive and was currently being hydrated by the vet and team members.
What a spectacle she was (they had determined through a quick examination that the whale was most likely female). It was a minke whale weighing an estimated 2,400 pounds and was close to 15 feet long. I had never been so close to a whale before in my life, and there was one lying about five feet away from me, struggling for its life.
The disheartening news soon came and little did I know how unprepared I was for it.
We were told that since the whale had been stranded for about 12 hours, it may have caused internal damage to itself since whales are too heavy to hold their own weight. The doctors sadly had to sedate and then euthanize the whale so it wouldn't be in pain anymore.
I'll never forget the look in the eyes of the whale as they grew large, and it thrashed its tail from side to side and then opened its mouth to draw one last breath.
Nobody spoke; the beach was silent. The thrashing ceased and the whale's movement came to a halt.
"Let's go, Tim," I softly told him. "I've seen enough."
There are no words to describe those 25 minutes we spent on the marshy shoreline, except that it was sorrowful to see something so large, so majestic, and still somewhat young as it was not exactly in its adult stages yet, pass away so suddenly.
Listen, I get it, it's the "circle of life," as everyone puts it. So cliché, yet so morbid nonetheless. My heart goes out to the poor minke who lost her struggle on the shores of Hoppy's Landing.
Rest easy, girl. Rest easy.