Locals Surround Beached Orca Calf Thinking Its Dolphin

Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News

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This is the moment dozens of villagers surround a beached killer whale calf which was motionless and weak, petting the poor animal in the water after mistaking it for a dolphin.

The incident occurred when the baby orca (Orcinus orca) beached itself in the village of Inobonto village in the Bolaang Mongondow regency in northern Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.

In the video, dozens of villagers, both children and adults alike, can be seen surrounding the orca, tightly packing around it as they touch and stroke it.

Some of the locals even kiss the two-metre (6.5-foot) killer whale which appeared motionless and weak, according to local media outlet Coconuts.

The villagers mistook the predator for a dolphin, with one the villagers saying on the clip “ this dolphin came to the Inobonto beach. Hopefully the dolphin will bring blessings to our village” according to Coconuts.

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The villagers tried to push the killer whale back into the ocean but it continually returned onto the beach, before officials from the local fisheries body guided it back into deep waters.

Coconuts report Suria Darwisito, a lecturer from the Fisheries and Oceanology Faculty of Sam Ratulangi University in the province’s capital of Manado, saying that the orca’s appearance in the area was very rare, representing the first time a killer whale has been beached in North Sulawesi.

Darwisito said changes in currents or an earthquake could have disturbed the orca’s navigation senses.

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