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The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
 

Whale jihad?


Not quite, but it's always wise to be careful when transporting large, dead animals.
Blood and guts of 17-meter long 50-ton mammal splatter sidewalks, automobiles parked nearby

A dead sperm whale being transported through Tainan City on its way to a research station suddenly exploded yesterday, splattering cars and shops with blood and guts.

Certified by authorities as the largest beached whale on record in Taiwan, the 17-meter 50-ton carcass was being transported by a flat-bed trailer-truck to a special research location after National Cheng Kung University officials and security guards refused to allow the whale on campus.

The whale was to be preserved and an autopsy performed at the "Shi-Tsao Natural Preserve" in Tainan County by a team of marine biologists and taxidermists.

National Cheng Kung University marine biologist, professor Wang Chien-ping, was on the scene and said he had he instructed the truck driver to move the carcass so the whale could be used for educational purposes and an autopsy could be done.

The beached whale was found on along a stretch of coast in Yunlin County on Saturday.

"The animal was close to death when someone found it beached on shore on Saturday... Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure buildup was too great, the whale's belly just exploded and spilled blood and the innards on the street," Wang said.




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