Researchers are closer to understanding what killed the north Atlantic right whale on Martha's Vineyard shore
UPDATED February 2, 2023 11:50 am:
Researchers are one step closer to understanding what killed the north Atlantic right whale that washed up on a Martha’s Vineyard beach on Sunday.
A team is expected to deliver a preliminary report with more information about how young female died later today.
On Thursday, two dozen researchers, traveling from as far away as Maine and Virginia, conducted a postmortem exam in a remote, forested spot on Aquinnah Wampanoag trust land.
Sarah Sharp, a veterinarian from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said she was proud of the team.
“We definitely answered some questions we had coming into this,” she said. “It has been a long week working each day to get closer to understanding why the animal died.”
The whale, a 2-to-3-year-old female was buried on Aquinnah Wampanoag Trust land after the post-mortem exam.
The tribe plans to use its bones for educational and cultural purposes in the future.
February 1, 2024 at 3:41 PM
A critically endangered right whale washed up dead on the beach at Cow Bay in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard.
The whale, a young female, was found on Sunday night. Since then, crews from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other organizations have been working to secure the whale and perform an exam to identify the cause of death.
Since 2017, at least 55 North Atlantic right whales have been killed or seriously injured by boat strikes and entanglement in rope and fishing gear. This marks the first time a right whale has been found dead in Massachusetts since 2018.
CAI’s Eve Zuckoff was on the scene in Edgartown and took the following photos of the effort to bring the whale’s body to land for a necropsy.
Please note some images are graphic.
To learn more, listen to the audio button at the top of this page, as Eve Zuckoff speaks with CAI's Steve Junker for the first segment of the Friday News Roundup. She discusses the latest developments in researchers efforts to understand the death of the whale.
And to see video of the whale at Cow's Bay, and the process of moving it for eventual necropsy, visit our Instagram page here.