Monday, 10 August 2009

Florida's Wildlife

Even though I am not in the southern home during the summer months, I cannot help but feel an invisible umbilical cord every time I hear a news story from in or around my North Miami neighbourhood. This little item on CNN today had me glued to my TV and subsequently my computer for a good part of the afternoon. It seems that a beaked whale and her calf decided to beach themselves in the shallow waters off of Hollywood Beach between Johnson and Michigan Streets. This is on the Broadwalk where we walk daily and anybody who knows the area well, knows that it is streaming with tourists. The visitors and locals were immediately turned into volunteer marine biologists for a few hours as they struggled to return the pair to each other and to the ocean. Nobody really understands the mystery of why marine animals attempt suicide by beaching, but it is one of the great tragedies of oceanic study. The mother and baby thrashed around for hours, all the while the many brave and tireless volunteers attempted to keep them wet and shielded from the hot Florida sun. Unfortunately, when a whale is determined to die, there is usually a reason, and the mother ultimately and sadly succumbed. Beaked whales cannot survive in captivity, so it was determined by the experts to euthanize the baby because she was far too young to fend for herself in the wild. A sad ending to a captivating story, but I wanted to give a shout out to my people on Hollywood Beach who just jumped into the water without prodding to attempt to rescue these glorious animals. Way to go Hollywood Fla!!

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