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Whales on holiday? Scottish town Oban gets an unexpected visitor...

Whales on holiday? Scottish town Oban gets an unexpected visitor...

A 12 metre sperm whales does some sightseeing

It would appearcthat it's not only humans that like to do a bit of sightseeing!

Sperm whales like to see the world as well!

The Easter weekend bought a very unusual visitor to Oban, a harbour town on the west coast of Scotland known as the "Gateway to the Isles". A young sperm whale arrived in the bay on Easter Sunday and has spent 9 days swimming around the harbour.

Oban Sperm Whale 3

Crowds of people have been gathering hoping to catch a glimpse of the giant mammal (around 12m in length) as it surfaces and blows before swimming around the harbour again.

Local wildlife experts have been keeping a close eye on the whale and have managed to capture some wonderful pictures. Chris Jackson, captain of whale-watching boat the Highland Tiger has kindly allowed us to use his photos here.

 

Cause for concern?

Although the opportunity to see a sperm whale up close is fantastic, scientists and whale experts were beginning to get concerned about the well-being of the whale.

As the days ticked by the team became more worried that the whale might end up stranded, a situation that could lead to another tragedy like in September 2012 when 16 pilot whales died after getting stuck on a beach near Fife in Scotland.

 

Good news!

Thankfully the latest news from Oban is that the sperm whale has left the harbour and made it's way into deeper waters. It's departure was quite eventful, however, as it had an uncomfortably close encounter with a boat on it's way out.

Oban Sperm Whale 2

It seems that the young whale scraped its head on the bow of a barge moored in the harbour, leaving a wound on its head. However, although the graze is quite large it isn't deep. Sperm whales often have scars and they heal well, so there is no real danger.

Planet Science will do our best to keep up-to-date with the travels of Oban's largest sightseer - check back soon for more news. In the meantime you can visit the Sea Watch Foundation's website for the latest reports on whales and more...

 

 

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