BEACON TRANSCRIPT – It’s sad when a marine mammal washes ashore, but it’s even sadder when they come close to the shore alive, but they have to be put out of their misery. This is what happened on Galveston Island, when a beached whale was euthanized, buried on the beach.
The whale swam very close to shore on Tuesday afternoon, and despite the marine biologists’ best efforts, it had to be euthanized shortly thereafter.
Early Tuesday morning, a group of beachgoers spotted the whale swimming in the very shallow waters of Galveston beach, and they quickly alerted the authorities to the sea mammal’s predicament.
After a larger group of on-lookers formed along the beach in hopes of rescuing the nearly stranded animal, the experts that arrived on the scene determined that it was too late for the unfortunate creature, and decided to end its suffering.
This was followed by experts and volunteers alike, racing against the clock represented by the incoming tide, in order to perform an autopsy on the whale, as well as to dig a trench on the beach and bury the mammal before the currents could claim it.
After putting the creature out of its misery, the experts at the scene had less than 7 hours to complete the necropsy on the deceased whale, and sadly that meant that far fewer information was found than initially hoped.
The experts did manage to figure out that the creature was a Sei whale; however, the species was not yet identified.
After collecting some of the necessary samples, they were sent to a lab in order to find out more about the creature, possibly even the reason why it swam so close to shore.
The marine biologists also managed to point out that the whale was swimming so close to shore due to an undiagnosed disease, but they were unable to find any more answers on such a short notice.
The good news, however, is that there is so little known about the whales inhabiting the area, that absolutely any information can lead to a whole bunch of answers to previously unknown questions.
And with the little information and samples they managed to collect, the researchers are quite sure that they will get enough information to help them a very long way.
After finishing the impromptu dissection, the researchers, along with the volunteers, dragged the corpse of the huge animal into a trench dug during the autopsy, and then proceeded to bury it before the tides could come in and drag the corpse with it.
Image source: Wikimedia