A dead baby humpback whale was found washed ashore near Westport Saturday, Cascadia Research Collective, along with staff from WDFW and Westport Aquarium, conducted an examination on Sunday. The 25′ 8″ female was estimated to be just over a year old, and was found about a mile north of West Haven State Park. The blubber was thin with little oil, but the whale had been recently feeding on small fish. While a precise cause of death is undetermined, it appears to have been natural based on the necropsy. Numerous samples were collected for a variety of analyses, including genetics, contaminants, and general pathology; these may provide more details about what happened to this whale. Humpback whale populations have been increasing throughout their range, and strandings, which used to be relatively infrequent, are becoming more common along the Washington coast.

 

Cascadia Research, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Westport Aquarium conducted an examination today…

Posted by Cascadia Research Collective on Sunday, April 12, 2015