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Humpback whale seen close to Slovenian coast: report

by Staff Writers
Ljubljana (AFP) Feb 16, 2009
An adult humpback whale measuring between 10 and 12 metres (33 and 39 feet) in length has been spotted near Slovenia's Adriatic coast, a Slovenian Internet news site reported Monday.

"It is a humpback whale, a species that rarely enters the Adriatic Sea and has only been spotted six or seven times in the Mediterranean," Slovenian marine mammal researcher Tilen Genov told the news website 24ur.

"This is a very rare event," he added.

The animal, an adult "Megaptera novaeangliae," may have been stranded in the Adriatic Sea due to illness or after following a school of fish, Genov said.

The whale was spotted for the first time by a Slovenian diver on Saturday and then again on Monday in the area between the port of Koper and the coastal town of Izola.

Humpback whales, an endangered species that can measure up to 15 metres in length and weigh about 36 tons, typically migrate to warmer seas in the winter to search for food.

And off the coast of northern France, a French fisherman found the corpse of a humpback whale caught up in his net, conservationists said Monday, noting that the species is extremely rare in Channel waters.

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Hundreds of whales rescued in Philippines
Balanga, Philippines (AFP) Feb 10, 2009
Fishermen and volunteers in the Philippines managed to rescue more than 200 beached whales on Tuesday by guiding them back into deep water, officials said.

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