Whales and Dolphins

Buchan

Well-Known Member
A question arose on humane killing of a beached dolphin. Doing some research a .30 140grain (not hollow or soft point) is recommended for anything <3m in the UK. Shotgun is not advised apparently owing to blubber. Anyone know if this is right? The recommended place is at 45 degrees to the blowhole aiming for midway between the pectorals. I'd have thought 12G would be fine.
I've seen the previous threads on this, but it doesn't give the answer.
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
The "climate" around whales, dolphins and any other cetacean is such that one would be extremely unwise to even consider humane dispatch of a beached dolphin.
Whether it's moral or legal to dispatch a beached whale vanishes into insignificance compared to the scale and duration of shitstorm you, your family, employer etc. would be engulfed in.
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
The "climate" around whales, dolphins and any other cetacean is such that one would be extremely unwise to even consider humane dispatch of a beached dolphin.
Whether it's moral or legal to dispatch a beached whale vanishes into insignificance compared to the scale and duration of shitstorm you, your family, employer etc. would be engulfed in.

he's a vet...... suspect he's used to this sort of thing..... who else would you call on for a humane dispatch if not a vet in that situation.
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
Fair enough. You sometimes get threads on here with people considering shooting plans that while legal are just asking for trouble. Could have been one of those.
Even as a vet, I'd avoid anything like that if there was any possibility at all of being identified or witnessed. Many "animal enthusiasts" are so deranged and irrational about species like that.
 

Buchan

Well-Known Member
Apthorpe is correct, it can be a problem. Usually though, lots of screens are provided. Thankfully, I've not had to do this yet, but was asked by another vet. Trouble with injection is the subsequent carcass disposal.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
I think the issue with a shotgun is the rapid dispersal of energy from the shot before it reaches the vitals? Perhaps a slug would be best, rather than pellets? I think the same would go for SP too. FMJ of a substantial enough calibre would ensure sufficient penetration through the skin & blubber to reach the brain without the bullet breaking-up as it passes through the tissues. Never actually thought of this before, but it's a valid question given the difficulties of disposing of such a large carcass after chemical euthanasia :confused:
 

sauer

Well-Known Member
Absolutely no scientific background on this other than being around them diving ...
but I would have thought that the blubber and density of the body would make a shotgun a no ?

Paul
 

Pine Marten

Well-Known Member
Have you read Moby Dick? Because it's explained in there. You need a lance through the heart...

[FONT=&amp]“Pull up—pull up!” he now cried to the bowsman, as the waning whale relaxed in his wrath. “Pull up!—close to!” and the boat ranged along the fish’s flank. When reaching far over the bow, Stubb slowly churned his long sharp lance into the fish, and kept it there, carefully churning and churning, as if cautiously seeking to feel after some gold watch that the whale might have swallowed, and which he was fearful of breaking ere he could hook it out. But that gold watch he sought was the innermost life of the fish. And now it is struck; for, starting from his trance into that unspeakable thing called his “flurry,” the monster horribly wallowed in his blood, overwrapped himself in impenetrable, mad, boiling spray, so that the imperilled craft, instantly dropping astern, had much ado blindly to struggle out from that phrensied twilight into the clear air of the day.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]And now abating in his flurry, the whale once more rolled out into view; surging from side to side; spasmodically dilating and contracting his spout-hole, with sharp, cracking, agonized respirations. At last, gush after gush of clotted red gore, as if it had been the purple lees of red wine, shot into the frighted air; and falling back again, ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. His heart had burst![/FONT][FONT=&amp]“He’s dead, Mr. Stubb,” said Daggoo.[/FONT][FONT=&amp]“Yes; both pipes smoked out!” and withdrawing his own from his mouth, Stubb scattered the dead ashes over the water; and, for a moment, stood thoughtfully eyeing the vast corpse he had made.[/FONT]

OK, so maybe it doesn't quite qualify as humane despatch....
 
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Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Have a look at what is used on big game. A stout long heavy for calibre rifle bullet at very moderate velocity. Think 173gn Roundnose in 7x57 at 2300 FPS, or 300 gn in 375 h&h. You also need good knowledge of anatomy to ensure bullet goes through heart and major arteries.
 
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