Experts: Leave whale enough alone

August 3, 2007

Whale experts say that a young Minke now in a Scottish harbor should be allowed to decide for itself when to leave.

The whale, nicknamed Marvin, was first spotted in Fraserburgh Harbor, up the east coast from Aberdeen, on Wednesday, The Scotsman reported. The whale, the cetacean equivalent of an adolescent, apparently followed a boat in with its mother and then remained behind when she left.

Efforts to lure it out with a boat or to drive it away with noise Wednesday and Thursday were unsuccessful. Experts told the newspaper that well-meaning whale saviors might be stressing the animal.

Richard Fairbairns, founder of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, said that Minkes are curious and often follow boats.

"It's a superb animal. They are masters of their environment," he said. "They wouldn't go anywhere they didn't want to go. I don't know of a minke stranding -- they just don't do that sort of thing. It makes me laugh, we humans try to protect everything and see dangers for them."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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