Death of a Pilot Whale Calf – mother won’t let it go – Planet Blue II

Death of a Pilot Whale Calf
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Death of a Pilot Whale Calf – Mother Pilot Whale Grieves Her Dead Calf. From episode shown Sunday November 19 on BBC ONE.

Raising young in this great wilderness is a huge challenge. The episode follows two very different ocean voyagers that show amazing care. Crew gets closer to solving the mystery of where the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark, gives birth.

The pregnant females make an epic journey across the Pacific to the Galapagos Islands. Scientists now think it might be here that the pregnant females give birth to their pups in the safety of the depths.

An estimated eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year. Globe-spanning currents carry it into the heart of every ocean, often with tragic consequences.

In the Atlantic waters off Europe we follow a family of pilot whales whose calf has recently died.

One possible cause of death is poisoning by its own mother’s contaminated milk. As plastic breaks down it combines with other pollutants that are consumed by vast numbers of marine creatures. In top predators like pilot whales, the toxic chemicals can build up to lethal levels

Quotes: A mother is holding her new-born young. It’s dead.  She is reluctant to let it go.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tjbtx

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