Humpback whale dies at Karwar beach

The mammal which had come near the shore in search of food was trapped in sand

A large crowd gathered to watch the dead whale near Devbagh shore in Karwar on Friday. DH PHOTO

The whale, trapped in the sand, was noticed by the fishermen on Thursday evening itself. The high tide in the sea might have masked its visibility. It was thought that the whale might swim back into the sea during night. But low tide obstructed its journey into deep waters.

As a result, the aquatic mammal developed high blood pressure, which proved fatal. People thronged the shore to have a glimpse of the mammoth animal.

Prof V  N Naik of Marine Biology Department, Karnatak University informed the Forest Department about the whale.

The efforts of Gopashitta Range Forest Officer K D Naik to lift the 3-tonne whale from water, using ropes went in vain. The carcass was later extricated using a JCB during low tide, and buried in a 35 feet pit, after a post-mortem.

Skeleton requested

Professor V N Naik told Deccan Herald that a skeleton of a 40-foot long whale that was washed ashore in 1973 has been preserved in the University and the authorities concerned would be requested to donate the skeleton of Humpback whale to the science centre.

Whales have been  classified as endangered species and they usually come near the shore either in search of food or when chased by sharks.

Generally measuring 100 feet in length, whales are found at a depth of 200 to 600 meters in the sea. Hunting whales is an offence under Wildlife Protection Act.

DH News Service

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