Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Killer whale washes up in Mendocino County (near Fort Bragg), Saturday, 4/18/15.

San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, Kate Williams, 4/21/15.  "Killer whale beaches in Mendocino, presenting boon for researchers," (..."it washed up on Saturday, April 18, 2015, north of Fort Bragg.")

Image result for Killer whale washed up in Mendocino, CA picture
Killer whale necropsied,  moved off
the beach in "two full days".
"A killer whale beached itself and died north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County, a rare occurrence that provided a shocking sight but also a rare opportunity for scientists and students to study the life and death of the big cetacean. .... A team of researchers quickly assembled — from the Noyo Center, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, The California Academy of Sciences and Humboldt State University — and performed a necropsy. .... Part of that experience was the macabre task of cutting the whale into pieces small enough to move off the beach, which took two full days.

....  The whale’s body is being stored in a water treatment facility in Fort Bragg, where Semans said the carcass would be buried in compost to enlist the help of maggots in stripping the bones. Once clean, the skeleton will be reassembled and put on display at the yet-to-be-built Noyo Center.

....The creature’s appearance on Saturday was not Fort Bragg’s first experience with preserving marine mammals for science, either. In 2009, a 73-foot blue whale that was struck by a ship’s propeller washed up there. .... Last week, a dead sperm whale washed ashore in Pacifica. A cause of death could not be determined."  Read article.

Related, news article. Lost Coast Outpost/Jennifer Savage, 4/18/15,  "Dead Killer Whale washes up near Fort Bragg." Update, Sunday, 4/19/15 7:30 a.m. ...."The animal was a male, 25ft in length with a 5ft tall rounded dorsal fin and a solid saddle patch. There was notable “human interaction” with crab pot floats and rope wound around the animals tail stock near the tail flukes and up around it’s right pectoral fin. ...The animal was not emaciated and had a thick blubber layer: stomach contents included a large harbor seal, nearly completely intact. This is, of course, what our transient marine mammal eaters feast on.  .... Update, Sunday 4/19/15, 4:40 p.m. Naked Whale Research director Jodi Smith called from the scene with a bit more detail. ....  the team was working on getting it to higher ground in hopes of performing a necropsy this afternoon. “There’s no real obvious damage, she said, and suspects the animal to be an offshore type of killer whale as “it’s teeth are quite worn down… they wear their teeth down eating on shark .. ."

Note photograph by Nadia El Adli is from the Lost Coast Outpost article. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Beanie of Truth said...

Where is Mayor Karen Ervin and the rest our City Council on the matter of leadership regarding the dead whale issue? (Which by the way is a national headline carries by the erstwhile L.A. Times) The pungent odour of inaction is a crying shame as enemies of Yuppie bikers from Oakland tag the deceased carcass of this once peaceful gentle giant sea creature. In light of Earth Day, mud is splashed upon the face of the environmentalist paradise of Pacifica. What hypocrisy! I would like to see the Council consult the experts on these matters. And what about our City Manager, who recieves a queenly sum and housing allowance to address our problems here. Here is a curve ball she should gladly want to take credit for and precisely the sort of matter she gets the big bucks for. Even our most green and environmental Council members, Digre and Keener, are mute on the dead whale issue. The silence is deafening. And let me add, they are silent on this on Riptide as well, as they are chiefly preoccupied with their anti-widening cookie sales. I shrug my shoulders in disbelief, rolling my eyes. Leadership in Pacifica is more of a question than a statement. Let me pose the question, how would you like it if you were left out to the seagulls and taggers after you had left your body? How would your family feel? It's no different for whales. Show some respect Pacifica!

Anonymous said...

What to do with a whale carcass? Florence, Oregon misjudged the amt of dynamite and scattered rotting whale for 800 feet or more. Some city in Japan decided to move their rotting whale. As it was being driven through a densely populated area accumulated internal putrefaction gases caused the carcass to explode. Scattered rotting whale, and so on. Best options would seem to be tow a fresh carcass out to sea to be left adrift or blown up, or, if the whale is not so fresh, bury it where it is. This being Pacifica and council being council, I predict they decide to blow it up using too much dynamite while in transit to the back of, say, Vallemar or Rockaway. Hey, what's yer problem? It's organic fertilizer.

Kathy Meeh said...

Beanie 726, aside from respect for the deceased whale, and concern for potential health hazards, apparently the "environmentalists" of Pacifica are more concerned about protesting even the least of all developments, and suing against safe vehicle traffic through Pacifica.

855, we probably know how to dispose of dead whales in this country. Quick Google search for "dead whale health problem for a community" brings up The Telegram (Canada),Gary Kean, 4/29/14, "DFO scientist warns of health hazards posed by decomposing whales." (One of several articles):

"In addition to legal issues, there are a raft of health concerns with being in contact with — or even close proximity to — a rotting whale, whether it’s an endangered species or not. Besides the various bacteria and viruses a dead whale can carry — some of which are airborne — Lawson expressed concerns about images of people walking up on the bloated throats of the blue whales. He said the decomposition gases causing the swelling could soften the connective tissues of the carcass and someone walking on it could fall into the corpse."

Anonymous said...

A rotting, dangerous, humiliated whale carcass left on the beach...
classic response from Faux-Enviros.

Anonymous said...

This is Pacifica what else would you expect. Delay, delay, appeal, delay...... till it goes away.
These faux-enviros remind me of the 'family values' hypocrites. Lofty speeches, condescending attitudes, judgment against others and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it other than pain and suffering for everyone but them.
Their work here is almost complete. Time for this gang to leave Pacifica and start ruining another town.

Anonymous said...

Whale of a tale, Meeh! Fall into a rotting whale carcass? Sort of the Pacifica version of Jonah and the Whale. Photo op for a politician or two. Or is that photo oops?

Anonymous said...

WooHoo! Mendocino County chopped up their beached whale in two days! Chopchopchop. That's a lot of ciappino. Maybe Pacifica should be calling SMC for assistance. More fodder for Pacifica-jokes. Endless supply.

Sarcasm 101 said...

12:03, Kathy simply underlines the perils of having a dead whale around on your beach, no more no less.

What about the children? A dead whale is certainly an attractive nuisance that will draw school children. A tragic accident could happen, if the whale carcass shifts in the sand on top of a small one. Furthermore, I see the children of the area traumatized, drawing pictures of the dead whale in their classrooms in Vallemar and elsewhere, tears drawn below the dead whale's eyes.

Where is Mary Ann Nihart, champion of the West Sharp Park area? If I were her, I would be kicking and screaming to see this issue resolved. It's a black eye for our city and yet another reason why we should not widen highway one.

Anonymous said...

304 uh oh. Check the whale. Nihart, u in there?

Anonymous said...

Well, that's one way for a council member to avoid voting on the highway.