Photo from PPUR Management/Jean Duaso

The marine mammal that got stranded early Friday night at Sitio Sabang in Brgy. Cabayugan and was rescued, was not a dolphin as earlier reported, but a dwarf sperm whale.

Locals and the underground river’s management initially mistook it for a dolphin after it washed ashore alive but with an inch-long wound and scratches on its belly.

According to Elizabeth Maclang, superintendent of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), the 3-meter adult dwarf sperm whale may have become stranded because it got disoriented while traveling along rock formations near the coast.

“Baka na distract siya ng mga tandol, yong mga rock formations malapit sa coastline kaya siya na stranded,” she said.

Photo from PPUR Management/Jean Duaso

The whale was brought back to the ocean on March10, but it was discovered on the beach again this morning, March 11.

Maclang said they returned it a second time, however, it was again found back on the beach.

“Ang ginawa muna namin ay pinakain namin ng pusit. Tapos ay ire-release siya mga 2 kilometers away para mas malayo sa baybay,” she said, upon the advice of marine mammal specialist Dr. Teri Aquino.

Maclang said that the park is also home to cetaceans. Dolphins and whales are commonly observed in the area as the 7.4-hectare marine protected area is considered a feeding ground for these species.

A juvenile whale was also stranded in Brgy. New Panggangan in 2016.