Watch a heart-wrenching video and read how whales stop underwater noise
July 18, 2012 by
Two very interesting stories about the amazing
emotional lives of cetaceans recently came into my email inbox.
first follows up on some essays I've written about
grief and mourning in a wide variety of animals (see
also) and deals with
a female dolphin grieving the loss of her infant. A graphic and moving
video can be seen
here. Apparently the dolphin calf had been struck by a boat in
China’s Guangxi Zhuang region.
According to a news report, "China's NTDTV reports that on July 8, a
mother dolphin was spotted with her calf in Sanniang Bay of Qinzhou City in
Southern China. The mother appeared to be helping her calf stay afloat. When
a tourist vessel got close enough to see the baby, they saw that it was
dead. It had a long cut across its belly, probably from a boat propeller.
Tourist boats often go dolphin spotting in nearby waters."
The calf looked like it had been dead for several days. A fisherman told
the station, "The little dolphin was dead for two or three days, but its
mother still stayed with it and carried it day and night, which has touched
all of us and the tourists. Just like human beings, dolphins also have
feelings. A mother's love is noble and moving.'" For some comments on this
story and about dolphins in general by Philippa Brakes, a senior biologist
at the Whale And Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS),
please click here.
Many aquatic animals are injured by boats. And, there's also great
concern that noise can cause pain, suffering, and irreversible damage to
their ears and hamper communication among individuals (see "Oceans
of Noise 2004"
and). Despite this
the U. S. Navy plans to deafen 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800
more. A petition to stop this insanity can be signed
Along these lines, a recent story in the New York Times
how dolphins and whales might control the noise that enters their ears and
protect themselves from being disturbed and harmed by mitigating the
effects of loud sounds. (For those who cannot access the NY Times the story
The story begins, "Scientists have long known that
man-made, underwater noises -- from engines, sonars, weapons testing, and
such industrial tools as air guns used in oil and gas exploration -- are
deafening whales and other sea mammals. The Navy estimates that loud booms
from just its underwater listening devices, mainly sonar, result in
temporary or permanent hearing loss for more than a quarter--million sea
creatures every year, a number that is rising."
That's why the
results thus far found for a false killer world called Kina who controls
what enters her ears have been called "staggering." What she has been
conditioned to do is the functional equivalent of plugging her ears by which
she controls the volume of sound that gets in.
Let's hope that this research can be continued because we do so much
damage to aquatic animals that goes unseen or unheard because they live
beneath the surface. These sentient and emotional beings do indeed live in
troubled waters and we owe it to them to do all we can to let them live
in safely and in peace.