2016-05-06 / Front Page

Dead whale washes ashore in Biddeford

By LIZ GOTTHELF
Staff Writer


Scientists prepare to perform a necropsy on a dead whale that washed up on a Biddeford beach. 
LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune Scientists prepare to perform a necropsy on a dead whale that washed up on a Biddeford beach. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune BIDDEFORD — A team of scientists, doctors and volunteers are working to determine the cause of the death of a 28-foot minke whale that washed up on shore on a beach Tuesday off Granite Point Road.

The whale was deceased when it washed up, but officials were unsure when the mammal died, as the cold air and water temperature slowed down the decomposition, said Maine Mammals of Maine Executive Director Lynda Doughty.

The investigation is being coordinated through the New England Aquarium and Maine Mammals of Maine.

A crew was on the beach Thursday afternoon removing parts of the mammal to look for evidence and to take to a laboratory for further examination, said Connie Merigo, director of Marine Rescue for the New England Aquarium in Massachusetts.

She said there was a rope on the whale, but it couldn’t be determined if that had anything to do with the mammal’s death.

Doughty said the skeletal parts of the whale will be used for educational purposes by Marine Mammals of Maine, and the rest of the remains will be composted locally.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com.

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