Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service, has frowned at the killing of a whale washed ashore in Ijaw Kiri community waterfront in Brass, Bayelsa describing it as a dangerous thing to do.
Goni made this known in Abuja in a statement made available by Yakubu Zull, the Media Assistant to the Conservator-General.
He said the incident happened last week when a 30 feet whale swept ashore, but was killed and eaten by residents of the Ijaw Kiri community waterfront in Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa.
Goni, who frowned at the feasting on the aquatic animal by indigenes of the communities, urged the relevant government agencies to cordon off the area and immediately commence the process of evacuation of the remains of the sea mammal.
He said the whale was one of the rare species of sea mammals gradually going into extinct.
“The global acceptable practice is to call the appropriate authorities to assess the condition of the helpless Whale; if it is still alive and healthy, they will help it back into its natural habitat.
“It’s a pity that the people of the community descended on the unfortunate mammal that could still be alive with all manner of cutting implements to harvest pounds and pounds of flesh from it. What a painful and brutal way of killing it,” he said.
Goni, however, offered the support of the service to the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) when required in the sanitation of the area and other areas that would help to forestall future cannibalisation of stranded animals.
“The National Park Service is all about conservation and preservation of our biodiversity and we are prepared to work with stakeholders to have a well protected and healthy biodiversity.
“Nigerians have to be sensitised against such acts and we need to carry out scientific research on such an incident.”
He appealed to the community to observe caution in the consumption of such beached whales because the cause of the death might not be known, adding that there was need to be cautious over the possible outbreak of cholera and other waterborne diseases in the communities.
“The entire coastline area and its surrounding environment would have been polluted by now with the blood of the dead and decomposing whale.
“If the animal was dead as claimed by some quarters, eating an animal whose cause of death is unknown could have negative health implications for the consumers.
“It could have been killed by chemical poisoning, contamination or anything and (almost) definitely carry a lot of contaminants.
“The contaminants in the whale meat and blubber increase the consumers’ risk of developing some kinds of diseases like Parkinsons, hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
“Our people are still very far when it comes to issues of conservation of wild or aquatic lives, that’s why the service is doing everything possible to bring all stakeholders on board in the preservation of biodiversity campaign,’’ Goni said.