Monday, November 19, 2007

Minke Miguel
the Baleia Brasileira Baleen
is spotted again near Santarem

Minke Whale
Minke Whale: unaccredited photo from web

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A 5 1/2-metre whale that entered the Amazon River and swam about 1,600 kilometres upstream has been trapped for a second time on a sandbar, Brazilian news media reported Sunday.

Local residents spotted the minke whale just a few kilometres from where it was freed on Friday near Santarem, a city in the Amazon rain forest, the Jornal do Brasil reported.

Brazil's Environmental Protection Agency had called off its search for the whale late Friday after losing track of the mammal in the Tapajos River. Calls to agency officials were not answered on Sunday.

The whale ran aground for the first time on Wednesday. The Globo television network broadcast images of dozens of people gathered along the river splashing water on the animal, whose back and dorsal fin were out of water and exposed to the hot Amazon sun.

The minke whale is the second smallest of the baleen whales after the pygmy right whale. The International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee estimates there are about 184,000 minke whales in the central and northeast Atlantic Ocean. source: The Canadian Press.

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