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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Decomposing Fin Whale on Oregon Beach Offers a Melancholic Yet Highly Informative Sight


SEASIDE, Ore. — The cause of death of ⁢an endangered fin whale that washed ashore in Oregon remains a mystery. However, the decomposing marine giant offers a unique spectacle for beachgoers and a valuable learning opportunity.

“While it’s‍ a​ tragic event, it also provides a rare educational experience,” said Tiffany Boothe, the assistant manager of the Seaside Aquarium, on Thursday. She noted ​that this is only ‍the second time in approximately 30 years that a deceased fin whale‍ has been found⁢ in Oregon.

Boothe cautioned the⁢ public against⁢ touching⁢ the whale, as it could potentially carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets. “And let’s not forget‌ the‌ smell,” she added. ⁤”It’s hard to put into words, but it smells exactly like what it is – a dead whale.”

The 46-foot male whale ‌was discovered on Monday morning at Sunset Beach ⁤State ‍Park, south of Warrenton, entangled​ in a rope.

Before officials could investigate the ​rope and the type of ​fishing ‌gear ⁤it was associated with, someone removed ‍it. “The person ⁣likely had good intentions, as⁢ the whale was⁣ still in the surf and appeared to ⁣be alive,” Boothe explained. “They probably thought they were helping to free a live animal.”

Despite the severe entanglement, the whale ‍wasn’t ⁤trapped‍ for long, ⁣and the rope didn’t cause its ⁢death. The exact cause of death, which left the whale emaciated, will be determined in a few weeks following a necropsy conducted⁤ on Tuesday, according to Boothe.

The whale’s decomposition will naturally enrich the ‍local environment.​ “It’s a ⁤massive nutrient boost, feeding scavengers from eagles and ravens⁤ to tiny amphipods,” Boothe said.

Allowing ⁢the ​whale to decompose naturally reflects a ​more informed approach ‌compared to ‍1970 when officials⁣ decided to use dynamite to ​dispose of a ⁣dead whale that washed ashore⁤ in ⁤southern Oregon. “Such⁤ an incident wouldn’t happen‍ now,” Boothe said, recalling how the explosion ⁣sent large pieces of whale carcass flying into the ‍sky and⁣ even damaged a car.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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