Bayelsa community butchers stranded whale, lawyer warns of health consequences

By David Olalekan.

Residents of Ijaw Kiri community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, feasted on a 30ft whale which was washed ashore the Kiri water front last weekend.

According to media reports, some residents of other neighboring communities joined in the butchering of the whale which lasted for three days, leaving just the skeleton of the sea mammal.

Reacting to the incident, a Bayelsa-based lawyer, Timila Okponipere appealed to the government to immediately evacuate the decomposing remains of the animal, adding that a post-mortem should be carried out on the sea creature to ascertain whether or not health-related challenges might arise.

He berated indigenes of the community for feasting on the whale without first finding out what killed it, while also lamenting the pollution of the entire coastline with the blood of the animal.

Okponipere revealed that the sea mammal is believed to be one of the rare species of Whales which are gradually going extinct.

He added that, “in civilised societies, the helpless Whale would be helped back into its natural habitat by concerned citizens but the inhabitants who live within and around the fishing settlement where the whale mistakenly found itself; couldn’t believe their luck: very much like Vultures and Hyenas, they descended on the unfortunate mammal with all manner of cutting implements to harvest pounds and pounds of flesh.”

Barr. Okponipere criticized the Bayelsa State Government for its silence on the incident.

“Isn’t it most shameful, sickening and despicable that, the Government of the state has failed, refused and/or otherwise neglected to issue a statement regarding the unfortunate incident?” he queried.

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