When I saw the news story the other day about an orphaned baby humpback whale, I was tempted to put it in my blog, but I didn’t because I had a feeling it wouldn’t end well. I’m sorry to say that I was right, and I’m only writing about it now because the saga is over.
There was a baby humpback whale off the coast of Australia who was trying to suckle from yachts; they estimated him to be about 1 or 2 months old. For some reason, he had been abandoned by his mother, even though he was obviously still nursing. They tried to help him; they tried leading him out to sea, integrating him into another pod of whales, and they speculated about what to feed him. But because he was still nursing, they didn’t know how to take care of a 12 foot orphaned whale. Throughout his plight, Australians following the story grew attached to the “little” guy, and they affectionately named him Colin. They watched as Colin grew weak with hunger as the days went by until sadly, the decision was made to euthanize him. Suddenly, he was no where to be found…. but I guess it was just the darkness cloaking him because they did find him the next day, and they pulled him ashore and administered a lethal injection.
As an animal lover, this story was very sad for me to read, but mostly, I just don’t get it. Why did humans have to take it upon themselves to euthanize the whale? Why couldn’t they have at least tried to feed him? It’s not that I think any animal should suffer, but this was nature… it wasn’t humans who injured the baby whale, so why not let nature continue taking its course and just leave him alone? Who knows, maybe he would have found a pod of whales to nurse him back to health before it was too late. But no, the humans just had to intervene – they had to drag a baby whale out of the water, his natural habitat, and kill him. They didn’t want him to suffer starving to death in the ocean, but what about the terror he felt when he was captured and dragged out of the water? And let’s not even talk about how much all this costs. Seems like they could have fed a few starving people, put a roof over someone’s head for a few nights, or provided medical care to the sick if they had extra money laying around to execute a whale. After all, every little bit helps, right? But what’s done is done; the saga of Colin the whale is over. Maybe humans will eventually realize that their constant meddling with nature sometimes brings more harm than good.