The carcass of a large female sperm whale has been found washed ashore on a private beach near Port Aransas a few days ago.
The Port Aransas Coordinator from the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network said that the dead sperm whale was found on the shore of San Jose Island. Also, it appeared to be in very bad shape, meaning that it had died long before it was washed ashore.
Scientists have taken a few samples which will be sent for lab testing. In addition, they will conduct a full autopsy to establish what caused the death of the 28-foot-long female. The last time the officials dealt with such an incident was eight years ago, when another whale was discovered on a beach.
Experts and authorities urge residents to stay away from the sperm whale because it might carry many harmful bacteria and viruses which can be spread to humans. The carcass was found Monday, and it was already decomposing.
Although the whale is in bad shape, marine biologists have been able to establish that it is a female. The carcass is currently on the shoreline because the authorities and the experts haven’t decided yet what to do with it.
According to Tony Amos, a scientist from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, the whale weighs several tons, and it can be a source of infection. It is worth mentioning that the female is still protected by the Federal Marine Mammals Act, even if it’s dead.
Therefore, touching it is illegal. The marine biologists hope to find out why such a massive whale died. Because the carcass is decomposing, it is difficult for the investigators to establish whether the whale was attacked by orcas or it was battling with a disease.
However, sperm whales are predators as well, so it could defend itself from other predators. Also, they are known to dive into the abyss to hunt for squids and other large marine creatures. In other words, the female might have been wounded there and contracted a deadly bacteria.
That is why marine biologists warned residents to stay away from the dead sperm whale because they might get infected as well. Port Aransas is located on the Gulf of Mexico around twenty miles east of Corpus Christi.
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