This from yesterday. Sadly the original online version is hidden behind their silently ever-expanding paywall so I will faithfully and accurately recreate it for you here.
It relates to the biggest thing to come out of Cape Town since the Holland v Uruguay World Cup semi-final: that already infamous collision between flying whale and sailing yacht. The question now being asked is whether the whale had been “harassed” by boats before the incident occurred.
Nan Rice, “Marine Activist” and CEO of the Dolphin Action Group (thought – is there a Gramps Rice as well?) is looking into those claims and, almost as an aside, has these wise words for us:
On behalf of the South African Whale Disentaglement Network (SAWDN), I would warn members of the public not to try to disentangle large whales.
I think we have all learnt something there. Many of us routinely try to disentangle whales of all sizes, without even pausing to think about it. I tried to disentangle a couple last week in Kirstenbosch Gardens. And one the week before in the Canal Walk shopping mall.
Now I find that I shouldn’t have done it – although Nan Rice doesn’t explain why.
I feel so ashamed.
There are a couple of other questions I have to ask though. What exactly constitutes a “large whale”.
Surely this is elementary tautology?
When was the last time you saw a small whale? Even the damn calves are 6m long at birth. That’s not small, unless you’re comparing it with a skyscraper. And when was the last time you saw a whale calf next to a skyscraper for easy comparison?
I think you get my point.
And then who came up with the bright idea of having a whale disentanglement network? Surely that makes them just get more entangled? Why not a whale disentanglement group or society?
But no, volunteers (specifically trained personnel, not just members of the public, obviously) arrive on the scene of a “large whale” which is entangled and presumably rather distressed and introduce themselves to the stricken cetacean.
But whales (even “large” ones) don’t understand a huge amount of English and thus, all they hear is:
Blah blah blah blah blah whale blah blah blah net blah.
With friends like those, who needs enemies?
Is it really any wonder they’ve started chucking themselves at our boats?
UPDATE: And now there’s video of the allegedly harassed whale doing its thing.