Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Minke whale dies in Amazon forest.

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:05pm GMT

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A 12-ton whale was found dead in the heart of the Amazon region, after swimming aimlessly along numerous tributaries, local media reported on Tuesday.

The minke whale measuring 5.5 meters (18 feet) was first seen last week on the Tapajos river, a tributary of the Amazon. It swam 1,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, was stranded on sandbanks several times, and freed once by biologists and volunteer rescue workers.

Environmentalists and volunteers had been hoping to transport the whale back to sea by ship but local residents spotted its carcass early on Tuesday and alerted authorities.

Images of the dead whale washed up on a river bank near the city of Santarem were shown by TV Liberal in Belem, the Amazon's largest city.

Experts said the whale probably became disoriented among the many river branches that form the broader Amazon.

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