A 45-feet-long critically endangered whale has washed ashore on Fatehpur beach coming under Chilika Wildlife Division in Odisha’s Puri district.
This is the fifth whale species, which inhabited the Odisha coast, found dead in 13 months. Last time, the carcass of a 20-feet-long whale shark washed ashore on 4 October on Ramatara beach under the Kujang forest range near the Bhitarkanika forest division in the Jagatsinghpur district, said, forest officials.
The gargantuan mammal that weighed around 10 tons was spotted lying motionless on the sea coast.
The mammal bore injury marks. The species figures in the IUCN Red List of threatened marine species. The forest department will conduct the post mortem of the endangered marine animal. As there are injury marks, the mammals might have perished after being hit by either ship or trawl propellers.
The mammal is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. We are also planning to preserve the skeletal remains of the mammal for posterity. After necessary legal formalities like post mortem work are over, we would seek suggestions from department high-ups regarding the preservation of the skeletal remains of the whale, the official said.
The whale body had scars and evidence of the previous entanglement. Entanglements are common with this particular type of species because of their feeding habits. The veterinary surgeon would conduct a post-mortem of the body on the spot in order to determine the cause of death, added the forest office