The whale was first seen on Monday off the coast of Kaikoura on the north-east coast of South Island. It was not clear how it came to lose its flukes, said local Department of Conservation ranger Mike Morrissey, but “it could have been the result of entanglement” in fishing nets. But despite what looks like a severe injury, the whale seemed to be doing fine, he told the BBC.
The tears appear to have happened at least a year ago, Mr Morrissey added, as the images show little sign of open wounds. “This is a young whale and it has healed up. It doesn’t seem to have affected it much at all,” he said.
It is the first time anyone in the area has seen a whale like it, he added, but he held out hope it might return.
Anyone who spots the whale is asked to report it to the Department of Conservation on +64 800 36 24 68, so it can be tracked.
–BBC, read more: bbc.in/1Xv3w15