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Primary school regrets joining ‘Adopt-a-Whale’ scheme

Well intentioned youngsters found their philanthropic instincts curbed forever yesterday as a fully grown blue whale was delivered to the playground of Sacred Heart Primary School in Duffield, Derbyshire, squashing the empty nursery annexe and frightening youngsters with its struggle to adapt to the confined space of the nature corner.

Class 4Bs teacher Helen Johnson, 39, had encouraged the children to research a number of wildlife and environmental projects before settling on the WWF ‘Adopt-a-Whale’ scheme. ‘I suppose I should have read the form more carefully’ admitted Ms Johnson, ‘but we get so much paperwork that I didn’t really take the time.’

Alarm bells also failed to ring when WWF social workers paid a visit to the school, and quizzed her on whether Class 4B were prepared for the changes that adopting a whale would really make to their lives. ‘I thought it was odd when one of them commented, ‘I can’t help noticing the distinct lack of oceans in the school grounds,’ admitted Ms Johnson. ‘I suppose that should have been a warning to me. Oh and they asked if I’d acquired several tons of plankton in readiness. Which again, struck me as strange.’

The whale was lowered by crane into the school playground on Monday morning, but soon appeared distressed and uncomfortable in its new surroundings. ‘I rang the WWF and asked them what the hell was going on, and they said that inevitably it was going to be a wrench for the whale. I said the bloody thing was freaking everyone out; floundering and groaning and they said I shouldn’t be so critical, but should show sensitivity and understanding as the whale began its journey with its new adoptive family.’

Despite efforts from the class to enlarge the goldfish pond, the whale had sadly died by the end of the school day. ‘The headmaster called me in to ask why we had a blue whale corpse on top of the nursery annexe; it was all very embarrassing. Plus the little ones had had a couple of pet hamsters in there, and that’s going to take some explaining.’

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Posted: Oct 16th, 2008 by Zadok

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