A young humpback whale has died on White Rock beach after becoming stranded by the receding tide. The whale is believed to have been between 1 and 3 years of age.
According to a Global BC television news interview with Paul Cottrell from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Marine Mammals Coordinator, Pacific Region), the young humpback whale appeared severely undernourished. Having beached itself overnight on the White Rock beach, the whale was reportedly alive when it was first discovered on shore. Upon its death, remnants of fishing gear were visible near the deceased whale's tail. According to Global BC, the fishing gear had been removed from the whale's tail by onlookers attempting to rescue the whale. Earlier reports indicated that attempts had been made by onlookers to keep the whale hydrated with buckets of ocean water.
A necropsy will be performed on the deceased whale to determine the exact cause of death. This report will be updated as more details become available.
Image Courtesy of Flickkerphoto on Flickr
The majestic humpback whale in the wild
Update: According to a report by Tracy Holmes in the Peace Arch News, when the beached whale was initially spotted on shore, the fishing gear trailed from the whale's mouth to tail. According to the same report, the Marine Mammal Rescue Center will be taking samples in order to determine the exact cause of death.