On December 16, 2016, a sperm whale washed up on the shore of Babak District in the Island Garden City of Samal. The next morning it was dead.
Conservationist Darrell Blatchley did a necropsy on the whale and found plastic bags, a long fishing line, a plastic sink cover, pieces of wood, and other material inside the animal. One plastic bag could be identified as coming from a Davao City-based mall — indicating that the whale had been swimming in the Davao Gulf where it swallowed something locally made, among others.
What this means is that the whale was killed by human carelessness. You know, the kind that allows our conscience not to feel anything when we throw our garbage in the streets without thinking that it would eventually end up in the sea where animals like this 38.8-foot sperm whale would swallow it and eventually choke on it or suffer internal injuries.
What this also means is that the whale was killed by all of us in Davao. We’ll never know who actually threw that plastic bag, or fishing line, or that plastic sink cover. So for all intents and purposes, it was each one of us who has ever thrown garbage out in the streets or in the canals or anywhere — except the garbage receptacles our city government provides.
Guilty. We’re all guilty.