Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dead Humpback Whale calf

August 30, 2006

Late this morning while cruising in southern Chatham Strait off the southern end of Admiralty Island we came across this dead, bloated, and floating humpback whale calf. A call to friends at NOAA to report the carcass allowed us a closer inspection in order to retrieve skin samples for testing. The calf was a female, about 28 feet long, with a polypropelene rope wrapped around the left pectoral fin and running through the mouth. It seems that entanglement may have been involved in the death of this calf. A sobering moment to be sure, and a reminder that not all encounters between whales and men end well for the whales...

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