Fit for porpoise: Poor mite swept a mile inland by tsunami returned to sea

By Daily Mail Reporter

Ryo Taira and Takashi Wagatsuma pull the stricken porpoise from the flooded paddy field a mile inland

Rescuers haver returned a baby porpoise to the sea after it survived in a paddy field for two weeks when it was washed a mile inland by the Japanese tsunami.

The youngster was dumped there by the tsunami which experts now believe was up to 14 metres high when it devastated the east coast of Japan on March 11.

Pet-shop owner Ryo Taira, who has been rescuing animals abandoned after the catastrophe, said: 'A man passing by said he had found the dolphin in the rice paddy and that we had to do something to save it.'

They tried to catch the the youngster in a net, but couldn't so had to resort instead to wading in

Taira, 32, found the porpoise struggling in the shallow seawater and after failing to net it, waded in to the field to cradle the 4ft creature to safety.

'It was pretty weak by then, which was probably the only reason we could catch it,' he said.

He wrapped it in wet towels and drove it back to the sea, where he set it free. He said it appeared to perk up at the sight of the Pacific, he said.

'I don't know if it will live, but it's certainly a lot better than dying in a rice paddy,' Taira told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

With great care they prepared the porpose for the trip back to the sea

After suffering from the ordeal of the tsunami, the porpoise's knight in shining armour returned it to the sea two weeks later

Finless porpoises, which lack a dorsal fin, can grow to be about 1.6 meters (about 5 feet) long. They are native to much of coastal Asia.

Sendai, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Tokyo, was among many communities that suffered massive damage when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck, wrecking entire communities.

Dogwood pet shop in Sendai has become a collecting point for strays and pets whose owners have lost their homes in the disaster and are unable to bring the animals with them to shelters.

Raw Video Porpoise Rescued in Japan



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