Monday, April 04, 2011

{Press} Endangered whale washes ashore | March 29, 2011

"OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) - A dead endangered whale washed ashore Sunday in Nags Head near Jennette's Pier.

The whale, a North Atlantic right whale, is a critically endangered species and the most endangered whale, according to Karen Clark with the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

It is believed that there are less than 400 remaining.

The patterns and scars on the animal allowed the Stranded Team to identify the whale from research that has been conducted on them. Clark said they have been heavily researched because of their endangered status.

This particular whale was a mature female who previously had three calves. The first recorded sighting of this whale was in 1983.

The whale was highly decomposed and had scars and evidence of previous entanglements. Clark said entanglements are common with this particular type of species because of their feeding habits.

A necropsy was performed on the whale on Monday.

Samples were collected and some bones were harvested for educational purposes.

Typically, the whales are buried in the sand, but in Nags Head, they usually transport them off site, usually to a landfill.

A whale also washed ashore in Virginia Beach on Sunday. Scientists believe a ship may have hit the Sei whale that washed up on Sandbridge. Scientists are waiting on tissue samples from a necropsy report to learn if the impact killed the whale or if she was already dead when it happened.

The Sei whale was cut into sections and buried deep at the beach."

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