The carcass of a dead humpback whale has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest, and is baffling marine experts.
The area of rainforest is crisscrossed by thousands of rivers – including the mighty Amazon which lent its name to the tropical land mass, the largest of its kind in the world.
So you might assume the whale managed to swim its way via rivers into the heart of the island of Marajo.
But actually, the body was found in the undergrowth of Araruna Beach, which lies at the mouth of the island bay, so that’s less likely, given its proximity to the South Atlantic Ocean.
The whale was found in Brazilian woodland, well-hidden were it not for the swarms of scavenger birds which descended to feast on the fated creature’s flesh.
Dirlene Silva, from SEMMA – the Brazilian environmental, health, and sanitation department – told local media the vultures were ‘spotted circling above the carcass which was found hidden in the bush some distance from the sea’.
Alerted to the bizarre occurrence, a team of specialists have traveled to the site of its unusual resting place to try to ascertain exactly what happened to deceased whale.
The team, sent by the NGO Bicho D’Agua Institute, suggested the animal could have got tangled up in the mangroves after being tossed ashore onto the island by rough seas and high tides.
It’s believed to be a calf.
Bicho D’Agua’s president and marine specialist Renata Emin said to FocusOn News:
We’re still not sure how it landed here, but we’re guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove.
Along with this astonishing feat, we are baffled as to what a humpback whale is doing on the north coast of Brazil during February because this is a very unusual occurrence.
Humpback whales don’t usually travel to the north. We have a record of one appearing in the area three years ago, but it’s rare.
We believe this is a calf which may have been travelling with its mother and probably got lost or separated during the migratory cycle between the two continents.
As so much of the conservation regarding animal welfare revolves around pollution, particularly of a plastic nature, it remains to be seen whether the unusual behavior has been caused by human activity or by a simple quirk of biology.
Here’s the full statement:
Forensics tests are being carried out.
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