A beaked whale that was stranded on a beach in Vouliagmeni, near Athens, Greece was rescued on Thursday, only to reappear stranded on a nearby beach in Alimos hours later on Friday.
Experts state that the prognosis for the whale, which resembles a dolphin, is not good. It seems to have injuries on its snout and body that may have come from a boat propeller.
The beaked whale is closely related to toothed whales such as killer whales and narwhals.
The Hellenic Coast Guard responded to calls concerning a seemingly confused and stranded Cuvier’s beaked whale, a species that usually lives in very deep water, near the shore in Vouliagmeni.
Beaked whale stranded near Athens, Greece lives in deep water
This species lives in water deeper than 1,000 feet (300 meters), but is known to dive as deep as an incredible 9,816 feet (2,992 meters). Despite this, the beaked whale is among the most commonly spotted beached whales.
Thankfully, the beached whale is populous in seas and oceans across the world, and is not threatened or endangered. It is believed that over 100,000 beaked whales live in the world’s oceans, with the vast majority living in the eastern Pacific.
Members of the Coast Guard and animal rescue helped steer the whale toward the open sea and it later swam away, only to reappear confused and lost near the shore in Alimos, a suburb of Athens.
Alexandros Frantzis, head of marine animal research organization “Pelagos,” stated to television news network ERT on Friday that the whale is in poor condition and is unlikely to survive, as members of this species only inhabit such shallow waters when they are already very unwell.
Frantzis stated that the animal likely has not eaten for months. The diet of beaked whales largely consists of squid and deep sea fish species.
Αfter the beaked whale was discovered for a second time in the shallows, marine biologists and animal experts rushed to the scene in an attempt to help the creature.
It seems that beaked whales react negatively to sonar and are more sensitive to the technology than other marine life. Scientists posit that this sensitivity to sonar may be at the root of many strandings and beachings of the species.
Evidence suggests that more beached beaked whales are found in areas of the sea where there is heavy sonar activity.