UPDATE:Biologists have finished their necropsy of a dead fin whale.Siri Hakala with NOAA said the necropsy on the dead 67-foot fin whale shows whale died from a ship strike.
Marine Biologists To Perform Necropsy On Fin Whale
On Wednesday, November 23rd, San Diego Lifeguards are towing the dead fin whale that washed up on an isolated Point Loma beach out to sea and then over to Fiesta Island.
A boat is being used to tow the 67-foot whale carcass to the Mission Bay area where National Marine Fisheries Service scientists will perform an autopsy – necropsy – to figure out what killed it and its fetus. The 5-foot-long fin whale fetus, found a couple days after its mother drifted onto shore, was reportedly in “poor condition”.
Lifeguards waited until Wednesday morning’s high tide, which peaked around 7 a.m. to haul the behemoth.
Biologist Kerri Danil of the National Marine Fisheries Service stated to The San Diego Union-Tribune:
“During the decomposition process, there are gases that are created and the gases push out organs or fetuses.”
Scientists are itching to examine the whale because when it washed up near Point Loma Waste Treatment Plan on Gatchell Road sometime before 4:30 p.m. Saturday, it was still largely intact and had not been dead long.
“Fin whales, nicknamed the “greyhound of the sea” because they can swim as fast as 23 mph, are the second-largest species of whale and can grow up to 75 feet and weigh 70 tons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”