It is an exercise in devotion, but some scientists are questioning whether keeping an infant whale on a type of human life-support for this long is ethical.
This is the orca calf found stranded in New Zealand; humans - being human - did their level best to nurse it back to health abd reunite it with its pod, while the experts....errr, well, looked forward to killing it. For science...
Dr Karen Stockin, a marine biologist, said internationally recognised practice for separated cetaceans this young is either lifelong human care or euthanasia.
“New Zealand has no captive or rehabilitation facility that could support Toa. Of course, we all crave a Disney happy ending, but what matters most here is not our understandable human sentiment and emotion, but notably the viability and welfare of Toa.”
Frankly, I care more for the welfare and viability of the whale than I do for scientists with an axe to grind about their fellow humans.
Annie Potts, a professor in human-animal studies at the University of Canterbury, highlighted the incongruence between how humans treat a whale calf compared with, say, the farming of bobby calves for veal.
Why is it 'incongruent'? One species is a rare wild animal, another a domestic species we raise in their thousands for food. Don't they have any dictionaries in your lab?
“We reserve our love, compassion and empathy for ‘extraordinary species’ like whales which we can celebrate ‘saving’.”
Well, you must be turning cartwheels of joy to learn this morning that the rescue attempt was in vain.
But consider this - for a short time, this whale calf brought more concern and joy to the people of New Zealand than would ever be shown to scientists...