There have been many stories in the news recently about an abandoned whale calf that has been seen around Sydney. I’m not what I’d call an animal lover, and I’ve not typically been as deeply moved by stories about the plights of other animals as I have been about the plights of humans.
But this little whale has really got my attention, in a not-altogether-good kind of way.
The story is basically that this little guy, only a few weeks old, has been abandoned by his mother. He’s been seen around Pittwater trying to suckle boats that he has mistaken for his mummy. Every time I think of that it just reduces me to tears.
I know I am totally projecting but I just can’t stop thinking that he’s just a little baby and he’s lost and hungry and confused. It really breaks my heart to think of him there all by himself wondering why he can’t feed. He hasn’t eaten in at least five days and so far attempts to hook him up with other whale pods at sea have failed.
He’s becoming weaker and there’s been talk of putting him down. I can’t bear to think about it.
Today there may be a last ditch effort to try to take him back to sea in a special sling, in the hope that he might be able to connect with another pod of whales, but if that doesn’t work, he’s probably doomed.
All the experts say it’s not possible to formula feed him and raise him in captivity. It’s a huge and incredibly expensive exercise that will probably fail. And yet I still can’t even think about them putting him down or letting him die. I wish someone would just offer up the kajillion dollars needed to keep him alive.
I feel so deeply distressed by this that it’s a bit crazy. It almost feels like it’s one of my own babies wandering alone out there. I keep thinking about how scared Hugo would be if I disappeared and he was left on his own for days and days. That’s completely dumb, because Hugo is not a baby whale, obviously, but I can’t help it.
I hope my baby whale makes it.