Rare whale washes ashore

  • Jun. 7, 2015 5:00 p.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverA rare Cuvier’s beaked whale has been found beached on the southern tip of Haida Gwaii. Teams from the department of fisheries and oceans along with Parks Canada traveled to the site to perform a necropsy on the deceased whale. The whale was found on the north beach at SGang Gwaay, in Gwaii Haanas National Park, by the construction crew building the new Watchmen cabin. The carcass was in good condition and showed no immediate cause of death. Gwaii Haanas had it transported to a facility that specializes in cleaning the bones of whales and dolphins. It was removed from the site by disassembling the whale and removing tissue from around the bones. Pieces of the whale were then frozen and transported to a facility on Saltspring Island. The remains of the whale will be composited in horse manure for a year to remove the rest of the flesh and oils from the bones. “This is very exciting for us, as it is a rare whale,” said Gwaii Haanas representative Drue KendrickFor the specialists working on the case, this was their first time dealing with a beaked whale. It was described as more fleshy than fatty like other whales and very oily. Once the bones are treated for more than a year, the reassembled skeleton will be displayed for public viewing at the Gwaii Hannas office. This is the second beaked whale to wash ashore on the coast of B.C. recently. The first was found near Tofino. Beaked whales are rarely seen and scientists have very limited knowledge on this particular species. The Cuvier’s beaked whale is known for its ability to dive to deep ocean depths to hunt for fish and squid. Sightings of the mammals in B.C. are extremely rare, with only a handful ever recorded. Cuvier’s beaked whales are hard to spot in the wild, as they spend most of their time far from shore and don’t make a large disturbance in the water when they surface.They hold the record for the longest, deepest dives ever recorded of a marine mammal, swimming to depths of nearly three kilometres and staying underwater for more than two hours. The DFO along with parks Canada are working on finding the cause of death of the whale on Haida Gwaii.

Just Posted

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

QC food bank needs cash

Feed the People program shuts down for month of May

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read