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Dead whale (Ziphius Cavirostris) on Arillas Beach and more on other Corfu beaches

December 10, 2011

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Last week a whale washed up on Arillas beach. A lot of people came down to the beach and managed to pull into deeper water. We thought that the whale had been saved but unfortunately he washed up on the beach again in the evening. Despite the people’s efforts, the whale died….

In the beginning we thought it was a big dolphin but then we realised it was way too big (almost 5 meters long!). Different scientific and research institution were contacted and we learned that this was a Ziphius Covirostris (Ζιφιός in Greek), a kind of whale that lives in the deep waters of the Mediterranean, from Corfu to Rhodes and can dive to a depth of more than 1000 meters to hunt on squid.

Unfortunately, the next couple of days we learned that more of those whales had washed up on other beaches of Corfu. Scientists came to Arillas and took samples and we are looking forward to their results, so that we can find out what caused this massive disaster among those whales. Some people are talking about military sonar or seismic research that drove  the animals towards the beaches, others suspect some kind of poisoning. We will let you know as soon as there are news!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. hamann permalink
    December 16, 2012 5:39 pm

    hello i wonder if the real cause has bee found?

    • December 16, 2012 9:08 pm

      Hello Hamann!

      Well, you never really know but the official explanation is that the deaths of all those whales (between 10 and 30 on Corfu alone) was exercises by the Italian navy using strong sonar.
      Soon they are going to start searching for oil and gas in the Ionian, using seismic measurement methods. I have been told this sounds to whales and dolphins as if they are in the middle of a battlefield with explosions. Hopefully we will not have more such incidents…

      All the best,


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