Tsunami-Swept Baby Porpoise Rescued From Rice Field

Photo: ori2uru / cc

Amid the devastation left behind by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there still exists a glimmer of hope -- and sometimes that hope comes in the most unlikely of packages. Animal rescue volunteer Ryo Taira and his team had been scouring the wreckage around the city of Sendai for cats and dogs left behind following the disaster when they received word of another type of animal that was in need of help: a baby porpoise, tsunami-swept and clinging to life in a flooded rice field over a mile from the ocean.
According to a report from Japan's Asahi Daily, upon hearing of the stranded porpoise, Taira and his group of volunteers rushed to the rice field where the animal had been spotted. The young finless porpoise, similar in appearance to a dolphin, had managed to survive in the flooded area since the March 11 tsunami washed through the area, killing thousands and reducing much of the surrounding city to rubble.

A report from the AFP in Osaka describes what happened next:

They made a stretcher from car parts and a futon mattress they found in the tsunami wreckage, and tried to catch the porpoise with a net.

When the animal eluded them, Taira waded into the field in his rubber boots and picked it up in his arms, the report said.

With local aquariums damaged by the disaster, the volunteers decided to cover the animal in wet towels, put it in their car and return it to the sea.

Sato, the caller, later told the Asahi: "Immediately after I spotted it, I realized I could not ignore it. I had to do something. This was also a victim of the tsunami."

As the rescued baby porpoise was placed back into the Pacific Ocean, it seemed to perk up before it swam away. "I don't know if it will survive, but it's much better than dying in a rice field, right?" said Tiari.

In a place where recent natural disasters have left so many peoples' lives unturned and so many cities in ruins, the story of even a single baby porpoise finding rescue seems to take on special meaning. And, as that animal disappears beneath waves, it might just be the beginning of a whole new struggle for survival, but one thing seems certain -- no amount of hardship or devastation can overcome the grace of a caring spirit.

Via AsianOne News
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Tags: Japan | Oceans