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Subject: Whale funeral draws 1000 mourners

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Date Posted: April 13, 2003 3:38:39 EDT

A crowd of 1000 mourners turned up at a funeral for a whale in central Vietnam, where the creatures are revered, police said.

The whale, weighing around three tonnes and measuring seven metres, died a few hours after it beached on the Nam O beach in the city of Da Nang on Friday, a local policeman said.

Villagers held a funeral and buried the animal according to local custom on Saturday.

"There is a temple to worship whales here. Local people call them 'Sir Fish' and they bury all the dead whales they find with full ceremony," the policeman said.

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