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Rare Species of Whale Found in Motobu

Date Posted: 2001-03-16

A toothed whale washed up on Okinawan shores last week, a very rare sight. The whale was found on Chinen Ocean Leisure Centerís reef in a very weak condition. The staff of Ocean Expo aquarium in Motobu rescued the whale, a young male 3.3m long and weighing 300-400kg.

Toothed whales are extremely rare in Okinawa. Only five or six individuals known to have been seen here and not much is known about their behavior. According to Naoto Azuma, the head of the Mammal Department at Ocean Expo Aquarium, only one individual has been caught and studied in an aquarium.

When a male becomes an adult, a pair of teeth appears. As no teeth were found, Azuma thinks this whale is still a baby.

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