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Dead Humpback Whale Calf

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai
Feb 09, 2009

Sad news:  A dead humpback whale calf washed ashore this afternoon on the westside of Kaua’i.  Here’s the breaking story in The Garden Island newspaper.  I’ll be helping with the necropsy tomorrow.  Unless there’s obvious traumatic evidence, my experience is that we rarely discover cause of death from the gross necropsy.  Too, sharks probably got to this 15-foot mammal before it made it to shore, so that makes it even harder to determine.  Months later, if we’re lucky, once all lab tests are done, we might discover why this youngster died.  You might think me strange—you wouldn’t be the first—but I am looking forward to the experience.  I helped with a spinner dolphin necropsy once, and I was fascinated by the size and beauty of its inner workings.

I’ll post in tomorrow.


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