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Bali Saves the Whale

Locals and Hotel Staff Join Forces to Save a Beached Whale at Nusa Dua.

(1/5/2004) On Tuesday, December 30, 2003, a rare Gervais Beaked Whale beached itself on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, near the Grand Hyatt Resort.

A member of the Hotel's staff was drawn to the beach at about 5 a.m. by a sound described as akin to a crying child. Upon discovering the source of the sound, a 4.5 meter whale stranded on the white sand beach, the Hyatt staff member raised an alarm to the Hotel's engineering staff to bring a pump to keep the large mammal moist. Eventually police, hotel staff, and concerned members of the public all became involved in the rescue effort: A tent was erected over the whale, rescuers took turns massaging and calming the animal, and the assistance of a bulldozer and local power boats were employed to help drag the whale back to the open sea.

Combined teamwork and concern were rewarded when, at 11:45 a.m., the whale was once again swimming free in the ocean.

The beaked whale is a rare breed, normally encountered swimming in pods. While little is known of the species, they are believed to feed at deep depths and strandings are often associated with calving, which often occurs in shallow water.