Cabildo asks cetacean-sighting trip boats to keep clear of unwell humpback whale on west Tenerife coast as experts attempt to assist

Photo: Tenerife Cabildo.

Updated 6 September: The Tenerife Cabildo’s wildlife rescue centre, La Tahonilla, based in La Laguna, has provided vets who are now working with marine biology experts from Gran Canaria and the Guardia Civil to monitor the situation with the humpback whale spotted off the west coast of Tenerife a couple of days ago. The Cabildo says that reports it’s received from experts are that the whale is underweight, behaving as though exhausted, and suffering from parasites.

It seems not to be critically unwell but needs protecting. As such, the marine and veterinary experts are collaborating to assist as they can, and to monitor and attempt to prevent the creature’s condition worsening. In particular, all authorities are issuing an open request for the public, including (perhaps especially) leisure craft on cetacean-sighting trips, to stay away from the whale to avoid causing it any further stress.

Original post 4 September: The whole of the west Tenerife coast has had a treat today in the sighting at several places and at close quarters of a humpback whale. Normally, we see pilot whales, and a whole industry of leisure craft offering sighting tours has developed to go and see them and the dolphins which live in our waters, but a humpback whale is a far rarer sighting even though these whales live in the seas around these islands, growing to an adult size of 15m and 30 metric tons.

Today, the notice went out around 11.30am, and wildlife photographer Sergio Hanquet says that he got notice of the sighting in Los Cristianos. After this, the whale was spotted along the coast, with the video below being filmed near Los Gigantes. The video at the bottom is one of many posted on social media, this one from the police, and shows how close people got to it.

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