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Residents butcher stranded whale for meat in Bayelsa community

Residents of Okpoama Community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in Nigeria have butchered a stranded giant whale at seaside of the Atlantic Ocean close to the community.

Stranded whale
Residents of Okpoama Community butchering the stranded whale

The stranded whale, which measured about 15 meters long, 5 meters wide and 3 meters height, appeared to have been washed off on Tuesday evening due to low sea wave at the riverbank.

Residents of the community meeting the stranded whale on Wednesday morning, trooped out with machetes, hacksaws and axes to dismember the sea animal for fish.

The butchering was still ongoing as at the time of filling the report at Okpoama waterside on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Mr Nengi Omietimi, a resident of the community, said: “As you can see, giant whale was washed off this morning in Okpoama beach; things like this happen every five to six or 10 years.

“Young men are here doing what they know best, a lot of people are still queuing waiting at the beach to get their own share of the fish.

“This thing started happening since morning, as you can see this fish can feed the whole community.

“We just found it this morning at the beach, the people you’re seeing here came from different communities to get their own share of the large mammal,” he said.

Mr Tarinyo Akono, a former chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Bayelsa, who is also an indigene of the community, said that the whale might have died after it got stranded, due to low wave.

He stated that the animal was grounded in the night when the people had gone to sleep, adding that if it was found alive, it could have been rescued and pushed back to the sea.

Also, the Youth President of Okpoama community, Mr Seiyefa Felix Ben-Basuo, who confirmed the incident, also said that the people were at the waterside butchering the sea mammal.

In August 2019, a similar giant whale got stranded at the same waterside and was also butchered by the residents for meat.

By Shedrack Frank

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