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Texel mayor defends whale decision; healthy whales don't beach

Monday 17 December 2012

Texel mayor Francine Giskes (D66) has described criticism of the treatment of the humpback whale which beached on a sandbank close to the Wadden Sea island as ‘throwing mud’.

Good efforts were made to save the animal which was at a tricky location, the mayor said. Activists, including seal sanctuary operator Lenie ‘t Hart and MP Marianne Thieme, have said the whale could have been saved.

'A healthy whale would not become stranded so there must have been something wrong with it,' Giskes said. ‘It is terrible to see an animal suffering before it dies and I am glad it did not take too long,’ the mayor told Radio 1.


The whale, nicknamed Johannes died on Saturday night. On Friday, it survived a lethal injection.

Giskes said a broad spectrum of experts had been consulted and the council had carried out their recommendations.

Meanwhile the Ecomare marine institute on Texel has alerted the police to a number of threats made using the microblogging service Twitter suggesting its own staff should have been given a lethal injection instead.

Questions are also being asked about mysterious men in white suits seen by one eyewitness on the sandback on Saturday night along with several helicopters. There are also reports of strange round holes in the whale's flesh which have suddenly appeared.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

That comment from the mayor must go down as one of the stupidist of the year. Hundreds of whales would beach themselves around the world every year and more often it is a disorientation with the sloping shoreline.... How ridiculous.

By mario | 17 December 2012 10:31 AM

The mayor is right. That is a normal occurrence on the animal kingdom, to speak so. Animals do die, and "wilderness" is not some fantasy land where animals are never killed by natural forces.

By A.L. | 17 December 2012 12:02 PM

The Texel mayor's statement is misinformed. Sonar is also a cause of marine mammals beaching themselves because it can damage their hearing and change their behaviour. Is there a lot of sea traffic in the area?

By beeb | 17 December 2012 4:49 PM

Or killed by unnatural forces perhaps? Whales get disorientated by sounds from submarines and the like which echo over great distances.

By Rob Esser | 17 December 2012 5:13 PM

I also agree with the mayor. Ecomare are experts in marine studies and tried to help this whale. What more can you do.

By tvis | 17 December 2012 5:58 PM

A supposedly unhealthy whale survives a lethal injection? Doesn't sound like Johannes was very unhealthy, as it took more cruel and unusual punishment to execute a sentient being with "...strange round holes in the whale's flesh which have suddenly appeared." (Anybody else thinking "gunshots" here?)

By Drawer 22 | 17 December 2012 8:48 PM

The Mayor is right! The whales was more than likely injury somewhere upstream from the stranding sites by and undersea earthquake. http://deafwhale.com

By Capt. David Williams | 17 December 2012 10:11 PM

It's totally wrong. All the beached animals are not sick. Except if you are a viewer, you need a vet to know it. And if real experts have been consulted, this whale would have been refloated.

Ex in NZ where they are quite used to face this kind of situation


By Sibylline Assoc | 17 December 2012 10:30 PM

agree with A.L. People die also.

By andy | 18 December 2012 2:04 AM

I've worked with healthy cetaceans and also in a marine animal rescue group. In general, cetaceans do NOT strand if they are healthy. There is some evidence that sonar and/or magnetism MAY cause echolocating cetaceans to become confused and thus accidentally strand, but this is not proven. On the other hand, most necropsies performed on stranded marine animals that have died show they had significant health issues. Moreover, it is near impossible to rehabilitate a marine animal as big as a humpback. And, BTW, humpbacks eat krill or very small fish -- very difficult to get enough food in them even if you are able to manage their injuries/illness. IMHO, the mayor and council did the humane thing in euthansia.

By Carola | 18 December 2012 3:30 AM

It is a sad thing to see but hopefully scientists will learn more by doing an necropsy.

By M | 18 December 2012 11:15 AM

What do they mean by 'Lethal Injection?'

By Kelly | 18 December 2012 2:23 PM

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