A quick-thinking team of water sport operators and local volunteers successfully rescued a sperm whale that had become stranded in the vicinity of a resort in Negril at about 8am on Sunday.
“Marine mammal stranding are rare in Jamaica. The cause of the stranding may have been due to a storm last night, causing the whale to be disoriented and venturing into shallow waters where it got trapped,” a release from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) said.
After receiving a report of the mammal stranding, a team was quickly assembled, comprising of representatives from NEPA, Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), the Veterinary Services Division, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust, Jamaica Constabulary Force Marine Police, Negril community stakeholders, veterinary experts from Dolphin Cove, and Christine O’Sullivan, a local marine mammal expert affiliated with the University of Technology (UTech).
The animal was rescued some hours later.
“The response team received a report that the Negril community group, including water sports operators from Stanley’s Sea Sports, rotated the animal to face deeper waters, allowing for the animal to free itself,” a representative of NEPA said.
“The animal was then escorted through channels in the reef and back out to sea.”