Whale of a Tale: ... Embroiled in Scandal After Causing a Rain of Blubber...’s sun-soaked beach holiday, full of relaxation and rejuvenation, took an abruptly gruesome turn when an enormous blue whale washed up onto the shore. The beached whale was too big to be moved by either beachgoers or cranes, and time was running out for the gentle giant.
...’s sun-soaked beach holiday, full of relaxation and rejuvenation, took an abruptly gruesome turn when an enormous blue whale washed up onto the shore. The beached whale was too big to be moved by either beachgoers or cranes, and time was running out for the gentle giant. “When I saw this Moby Dick flop onto the beach everything around me seemed to stand still...I stood transfixed, in pure awe of the majestic creature. I vowed on the spot that I would stop at nothing to save it.” ... recalls. As the crowd continued making futile attempts to roll the whale towards the ocean, ... began hatching a seemingly brilliant idea to save its life.
Chaos surrounded the creature as coast guards, cops and state health authorities arrived on the scene. Civilian and official efforts had produced few gains, as the receding tide extended the long stretch of beach separating the whale from the sea. A whole fleet of vehicles and hundreds of people couldn’t move the whale an inch using ropes and pulleys and other makeshift attempts at leverage. It was just too big and heavy, and it continued to sink deeper into the beach sand.
... had noticed that the whale was sinking deeper into the beach, and reasoned that if a huge hole was dug ahead of it, than whale could be rolled over into the hole and moved further ahead. Everyone began digging, but it was an impossible task and time was short.
The situation called for ingenuity, and ... once again had the answer – blow up the sand with a controlled blast. “It seemed obvious. What easier way to make a hole than with explosives?” At a safe distance from the whale, they set off charges to create a large hole in the sand and dug forward towards the whale. After some time, the remaining sand gave way and the whale dutifully rolled forward.
Now the team knew what to do, so they set another round of charges to blow up a hole further ahead of the whale. What they didn’t account for was that whales are profoundly intelligent creatures that learn extremely quickly. This whale had now learned that rolling forward was taking it closer to the water. The whale managed to roll forward once more of its own volition just before the dynamite could blow, leaving the creature perched tragically above the charges as they detonated.
The hundreds of people working to save it were shell-shocked and horrified. A shower of blood, blubber and whale guts rained down on the sand, covering the once pristine beach in a nightmarish spectacle. A team of state officials arrived just in time to have a large chunks whale blubber splash onto their vehicles. They started asking questions, and all of it led straight back to .... They took his in for a full investigation, and criminal charges were filed for killing a protected species.
Animal rights groups began protesting outside ...’s home, comparing him to Japanese whalers. “I just wanted to help the poor animal make it back to the sea,” wailed ... in his defense, “everyone agreed that my plan was genius until we all wound up drenched in whale parts. I’ve been blown away by all this hypocritical finger pointing. Being vilified for this accident has been completely overwhaleming.”
By Joanne Mulitzer