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An injured whale stranded on an Athens beach was able to find the sea

A young whale injured in the snout, which had washed up on a beach south of Athens, was able to return to the sea after being treated, Greek authorities announced on Saturday. “It’s a deep-sea animal, the longer it stays in shallow waters, the more its health suffers,” Greek Deputy Environment Minister Georgios Amyras told state broadcaster ERT. He said the whale, whose condition remains worrying, was now off the island of Salamis.

Hydrated and treated with antibiotics

The whale was hydrated and treated with antibiotics before being escorted out to sea on Friday evening. She had been injured in the lower jaw, most likely by a ship’s propellers, experts said. “With such an injury, it’s not easy,” Natasha Komninou, a professor at the University of Thessaloniki and head of the Greek Cetacean Rescue Center in Arion, told Skai TV.

The whale had been rescued on Friday by a port police patrol boat and divers from the Greek cetacean rescue center of Arion. Arion’s team had spotted the cetacean on Thursday about fifteen kilometers away, near Vouliagmeni beach and had tried to direct it offshore. But the animal was finally stranded on a beach in Palio Faliro.

“We are destroying their home (…) for hydrocarbons”

Resembling dolphins, the ziphius cavirostris, a medium-sized whale with a maximum length of seven meters, dives to a depth of 1,000 to 4,000 meters. “The mammal may have been disoriented due to ongoing seismic research” on hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Kyparissia in the Peloponnese (South-West), said biologist from the Pelagos Institute, Alexandros Frantzis.

This gulf is “one of the four main habitats in the world” of this species, he said on ERT. “We are destroying their home (…) for hydrocarbons,” he lamented. Ziphius whales were stranded in 2016 and 2017 near the islands of Crete and Naxos respectively.

Source: 20minutes

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