The body of a huge whale, measuring around 40-feet, was washed ashore in an estuary close to the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

The gargantuan mammal weighed around 12 ton. It has become quite an uphill task for the forest personnel to extricate the mammal’s body from the estuary near Talchua coast. “We are planning to press into service a crane to remove the marine animal’s body,” said Forest Range Officer Subrat Patra.

The mammal’s body bears injury marks. The species figures in the list of IUCN Red list of threatened marine species. The mammal is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. “We are still undecided whether to bury the carcass after its post mortem,” said the forest official.

As there are injury marks on the body of the whale, it is assumed that the mammal might have died after being hit by either a ship or trawl propellers.

After necessary legal formalities like post mortem work are over, we would seek suggestion from department high-ups regarding preservation of the skeletal remains of the whale, the official said.

Many curious villagers, including fishermen, thronged the estuary site to see the giant whale.

The body is in a decomposed state and had scars and marks of probable entanglements. Entanglements are common with this particular type of species because of their feeding habits, according to forest officials.