|Deceased Juvenile Humpback Whale|
Warning: This article contains graphic images of dead and dissected sea life.
I'm sure at least some of you have seen the videos online of exploding whales. When an animal dies the gasses in the body can cause bloating. If the gas is not released properly there can be an explosive reaction. Thankfully the organization that helped with the autopsy of our large friend knew what they were doing and things went very smoothly. Anti-climactic you say? Perhaps but an investigation into how this marvelous best died was still to take place.
Humpbacks can grow up to 50 feet long. Our friend was only around 25 feet. This helped the researchers discover the age and maturity of this particular whale. My role in all of this was to stand by and answer any questions from the public and to keep people behind the fence. There was a consistent flow of viewers and even some that brought chairs to gaze upon this glorious creature as the scientists ripped into its tough hide.
Another day I was assigned to move two dead sea turtles that had washed ashore. This required a lot more of my participation than the whale incident. Alongside other members of the NPS staff I helped locate, carry, and deliver the two to the same foundation that was working on the whale.