Whale hit by ship migrates for 5000km with broken back, but it's doomed to die

The humpback whale Moon traveled from Canada to Hawaii, traveling for three months and covering 5,000 km in the Pacific Ocean, but unfortunately the story will not have a happy ending

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Whale hit by ship migrates for 5000km with broken back, but it's doomed to die

The humpback whale Moon traveled from Canada to Hawaii, traveling for three months and covering 5,000 km in the Pacific Ocean, but unfortunately the story will not have a happy ending. The humpback whale Moon was in fact photographed by a photographer with a drone who took a serious injury to the lower back, probably due to the impact with a ship.

Researchers at the Fin Island Research Station told: "The entire lower torso bent into an unnatural S shape. Most likely the result of a hit by a boat." According to the researchers, the humpback whale will likely die as a result of the journey made with such a serious injury.

Janie Wray, managing director and chief researcher at BC Whales, said: "The west coast of Canada is increasingly dangerous for whales, marine traffic continues to collide with these gentle marine giants, who more often than not have the worst of it.

Without using the tail Moon was literally frogmarching to make that migration. It was incredible. But it also breaks your heart. She is in pain yet still alive. Attempts to put Moon down would require a cocktail of toxic substances and risk poisoning the marine life that would feed on its remains.

If it were on land, we could intervene. But because it is in the ocean, and because of its size, there is nothing we can do. And that breaks your heart even more. "

About Humpback whales

Widespread in the oceans and seas of the whole world, humpback whales generally make annual migrations of up to 16,000 kilometres, feeding in polar waters and moving towards tropical or subtropical waters to mate and give birth.

Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish, which they catch by creating bubble nets. They are promiscuous animals and both sexes have multiple partners. Their main natural predators are killer whales. Like other large cetaceans, humpback whales have also been the subject of intense hunting, which has pushed them almost to extinction; by the 1960s their population had dwindled to about 5,000 individuals.

Today, even though the total population has once again climbed to 135,000, entanglements in fishing nets, collisions with ships and noise pollution continue to pose serious threats. Currently, the IUCN Red List evaluates the humpback whale as a species at least risk with a total population of about 135,000 specimens, of which about 84,000 are adults, and a growing population trend.

Until 2008 the IUCN considered the species Vulnerable. Regional estimates indicate a population of about 13,000 in the North Atlantic, 21,000 in the North Pacific, and 80,000 in the Southern Hemisphere. Of the isolated population of the Arabian Sea, however, only about 80 remain, and it is therefore considered Endangered.

In most areas humpback whales have increased in numbers again, especially in the North Pacific. This recovery has prompted the United States, Canada and Australia to remove the humpback whale from the list of threatened species. In Costa Rica, specifically to guarantee protection to the species, the Ballena Marine National Park was established.