Dead whale spotted off Devonshire Dock
A whale calf was found dead in the waters off Devonshire Dock yesterday.
Bystanders spotted the juvenile male short-finned pilot whale floating near the dock on North Shore early in the morning
The whale, which was 7.2ft in length, was hauled on shore before staff from the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo removed it by boat.
A bystander, who asked not to be named, said it had initially been mistaken for a floating tree or a shark until the body got closer to the shore.
He said: “We threw some rope around his tail and pulled him out, then called the aquarium. “We’ve seen a lot of stuff come around here but not no whale.”
Another bystander added: “He came in on his side with his fin in the air, then he hit the rocks and the current washed him back into the dock.”
A spokeswoman for the BAMZ said that sickness was unlikely as the cause of death.
She added: “Because the teeth on the lower jaw had not yet emerged, BAMZ determined that it must have still been nursing and therefore dependent on a mother.
“BAMZ is going to look to preserve the whale’s skeleton for educational purposes.”
Samples of the calf will be studied to determine cause of death.
The spokeswoman said pilot whales were not normally found within the reef line.
She said: “This animal was likely separated from his mother and found itself lost and stranded with the complex structures of reefs.”
The short-finned pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus, is not classed as endangered.
The animals, which are found worldwide in warm waters, are members of the dolphin family.
Adults can grow from 12 to 18ft depending on sex, and can weigh anywhere from 2,000lbs to 6,000lbs.
The short-finned species has a stocky body, a bulbous forehead, no prominent beak, and long flippers sharply pointed at the tip. They are typically black or dark grey.
Ian Walker, the principal curator at BAMZ, said that short-finned pilot whales were not usually spotted around Bermuda, although the island falls within its habitat range.
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