Curro - Problem child of the Strait of Gibraltar

by firmm Team

Text: Luisa Listmann, volunteer of firmm, Fotos: firmm

Curro, probably the most famous pilot whale of the Strait of Gibraltar, got his publicity through a tragic accident. In May 2008 an extremely injured male pilot whale approached our boat. In front of his cysticerus of the back there was a deep, dark red cut, probably caused by a ship’s propeller and which seemed to increase as he bent his body.

Bild 1: Curro am 2. Juli 2008 mit dunkelrot klaffender Wunde

Curro on the 2 of July 2008 with a dark red gaping wound

That’s how worrying about Curro began and he shows us until today how strong his will is to survive. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do for Curro. (However, he would have been the right candidate to take care of in the planned shelter institution called Dolphin Sanctuary in Morocco.) Luckily, Curro’s injuries restored nicely, but a big scar in front of the cystericus of the back now declining to one side leads us to suspect that there was a wound before.

Bild 2: Ein Jahr nach seinem Unfall

One year after his accident

Three years after the accident, Curro‘s back appeared to be in good health.

Bild 3: Curro am 16. Juni 2011

Curro on the 16th of June 2011

But at the end of this seasons July, we were confronted with a horrible sight.

Bild 4: Die Wunde ist wieder offen 22. Juli 2011

The wound is open again, 22 of July 2011

Curro‘s injury was probably - caused by a line of a fishing rod of a fisherman - cut and ripped open again. The following weeks were terrible; the initially small scratch became really big, the cysticerus of the back started to straighten up again and through the constant stream of water on the wound, Curro started losing parts of his cysticerus. On picture 5 you can see the frazzles hanging down and then lapsing.

Bild 5: Curro am 08. August 2011

Curro on the 8th of August 2011

Our Marinero Eduardo together with Dominique made an interesting observation during one of the tours: „Curro approached Edu (a faithful companion of Curro) from the side. When they almost touched each other, Curro dove down under Edu; not totally, but only until his cysticerus was lying below Edu. Edu then raised his fluke and strongly hit Curro’s wound. It started bleeding very strongly, but the dead pieces of the flesh were away after that; the wound became clean and fresh again to heal nicely afterwards. It was one of the most impressive things I ever saw among pilot whales!“

Incredible to see to which actions these animals are capable of to help each other and to make life easier.

Bild 6: Curro vor dem Zusammentreffen mit Edu

Curro before his coincidence with Edu

Meanwhile, Curro´s wound looks less bad and we are hoping all that it will heal again. In the meantime we are enjoying each encounter with Curro and his family and are tracking curiously the further development of his recovery.

Bild 8: Curro nach dem Zusammentreffen mit Edu am 26. August 2011

Curro after his coincidence with Edu on the 26th of August 2011

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