Subject: Baleen whales eating people

Lindsay J Porter (
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 20:24:39 +0800 (HKT)

>The other day my teacher and I were studying whales and their habitats
>and we came
>across the Baleen Whale is it true that the whale has never eaten or
>swollen a person ?
>If you could please e-mail me back my class is dying to know worth many
>extra credit
>points if I prove her wrong.Please.
>Thank you,

Dear April,
I have found only two 'reliable' references to whales swallowing people -
and both incidences involved sperm whales.

1. James Bartley was swallowed by a sperm whale in 1891 while whaling in the
south Atlantic.  He survived this ordeal.

2. 'A sealer' was swallowed by a sperm whale in 1893 while sealing off
Newfoundland.  This man did not survive.

Sorry I couldn't get you that extra credit point!

best wishes
Lindsay J Porter

Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong