February 19, 2012
The animal was identified as a male Sei whale.
TheVirginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team identified the whale as a male sei (pronounced ‘say’) whale.
According to the Stranding Response Team, a deep 1.5 ft. gash on the back of its head – fracturing the skull – coupled with traces of orange and brown paint or rust suggests that it was hit by a ship or boat.
According to the Virginia Aquarium, the large pink matter near the whale’s head is its tongue.
Whether the whale was alive at the time of the boat strike will be determined during a necropsy.
“The whale’s skin and organs are still intact and in good condition, indicating that the animal has not been dead for long,” said Susan Barco, senior scientist of the Aquarium’s Stranding Response Program.
“The next step is to get the whale out of the surf which requires the help of the City of Norfolk,” said Barco.
“Since Monday is a city holiday and the weather conditions are expected to be unfavorable today and tomorrow, the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team anticipates performing a necropsy on Tuesday or Wednesday. Meanwhile, we will have team members on site periodically to monitor the whale.
A sei whale feeding at the surface. Size compared to an average human
Even in death, whales such as the sei whale are protected by the federal marine mammal protection act and people should stay away from the animal, but looking and taking pictures is certainly allowed.”
This year Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trip guests have seen numerous humpbacks and two fin whales. Typically sei whales feed in the same grounds and follow prey inshore. Last March there was a female sei whale that stranded in Sandbridge. The whale’s death was the result of a boat strike and its stomach contents contained plastic. Sei whales are designated by NOAA as endangered species.
Fair Use: Educational
Photos: Dead whale in Ocean View attracts visitors
By Preston Gannaway
February 21, 2012
Two young men chose a curious spot Tuesday for “planking” – the fad in which people mimic a wooden plank in incongruous locations.
The 42-foot-long male fin whale was found Sunday near 1st View Street in Ocean View, dead with a large gash on its head.
The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team performed a necropsy later Tuesday and buried the remains on the beach. ….
Fair Use: Educational
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