Source Pravda.Ru

Storm beaches whale

During a storm in the Sea of Japan north of the Maritime Territory (Russian Far East), a finback whale was beached in the village of Ternei.

A spokesman for the State Sikhote-Alin nature preserve told RIA Novosti that children playing on the shore of Malaya Bay were the first to find the gigantic animal. The preserve's staff members quickly arrived at the location, however the more than seven-meter long whale was dead. Part of the animal, whose meat is a delicacy, had already been cut up with an axe.

This was the third time in the past few years that a finback whale had been found dead on the shore of the Maritime Territory. In August 2000, a dead whale was found on the shore after a storm near the village of Amgu, Ternei district. In December 2000, a whale, which was pursuing herrings in the Peter the Great Bay, got entangled in a fishing net and died.

In the summer months, finback whales form families or small groups. According to scientists' estimates, there are no more than 1,000 finback whales.

These whales are called finback because they have a white abdomen and a gray and black stripes on their backs. These whales can grow to be ten meters long and they can weigh up to ten metric tons. Before diving, a whale takes 5-8 deep breaths, after which it can spend about 20 minutes under water. The whales are attracted to small ships and can follow the ships for an hour and a half. Presently, the finback whale population is stable and they are not threatened by extinction.

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