Typhoon Soudelor leaves whales stranded in New Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday it found four whales stranded on the beaches of New Taipei City after Typhoon Soudelor, only one of which survived.

The four whales ranged in size and included a dwarf sperm whale and a three-foot-long Bryde's whale, the CGA reported last night.

The sole survivor was a 250-kilogram sperm whale that was spotted around 1 p.m. yesterday on Kuo-sheng-ts'un Beach in New Taipei City. Three Coast Guard officers and one civilian fishing boat lifted the whale and were able to lead it back to deeper waters for release.

A Bryde's whale and a second sperm whale were found later yesterday in Wanli District in northeastern New Taipei City. Both died onshore shortly after discovery.

The Bryde's whale was found at around 4 p.m. in Xialiao Beach and died an hour later despite rescue efforts, according to the CGA. The Taiwan Cetacean Society said it will conduct an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of death.

At 200-cm-long sperm whale was found at Dingliao Beach and was declared died at around 7 p.m. yesterday.

Late Monday night, authorities found a dwarf sperm whale that had washed up on Longmen Beach at Gongliao District.

The New Taipei City's Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office and the Taiwan Cetacean Society arrived at the scene to find the whale alive but physically enervated.

The Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office said that the whale was an adult dwarf sperm whale that weighed in at 300 kilograms. It had been battered during Typhoon Soudelor and bitten by cigar sharks, authorities said.

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