West Seattle dead-whale update: Towaway tomorrow

We just went out to check — the gray whale that died on Arroyo Beach two days ago is still off The Arroyos. However, as you can see in our photo taken minutes ago, it’s not particularly visible (aside from the tip of a fin) – and though the low tide of the day hasn’t arrived yet, the whale is now far enough out that it doesn’t appear the receding tide will reveal it. We’ve got a message out to NOAA for the latest, but they had told us last night that they hadn’t found a location to take it yet, so it wouldn’t be moved until that detail was locked in. We’ll add new information whenever we get it. 1:15 PM UPDATE: Nearby resident Scott took a photo at 1, right around the lowest point of today’s lowest tide, and this still is all you can see. 2:03 PM: Just got a note from one of the many people who took photos of the whale yesterday – but there are some closeup views here that you probably haven’t seen before – here’s the link. 2:33 PM UPDATE: Just talked to Brian Gorman with NOAA, and he sent the official brief media update:

The whale is now secured to a buoy near where it stranded Wednesday evening … It will be towed early Saturday morning to a location in Puget Sound that will allow researchers from Cascadia Research Collective and Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to perform a necropsy. After the necropsy is completed, the carcass will remain on the beach to decompose. Its skeletal remains will be collected and given to Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash.

He says it took a while for them to find state-owned land where the necropsy could be done and the whale left – they don’t sink the carcasses as they once used to.

11 Replies to "West Seattle dead-whale update: Towaway tomorrow"

  • Speakloud April 16, 2010 (11:42 am)

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated-this has all been very curious and we are eagerly awaiting details about the how and why. West Seattle Blog Rocks it as always!

  • You Know Who April 16, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    Did you happen to see a crazy woman pushing a jogger w/baby up that hill?! That was me. (:

  • Mika April 16, 2010 (1:52 pm)

    This was published today in the Vancovuer Sun.
    Four grey whales washed up in British Columbia.


    • WSB April 16, 2010 (3:56 pm)

      Re: Mika’s link – I read it too fast and thought it meant four more dead whales. It is the same roundup we have been seeing down here – counting Puget Sound whales – NOT new deaths – Tracy

  • Kaddee April 16, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    As the executive director of Highline’s Marine Science and Technology Center – the final destination of the whale’s bones – I invite everyone to “stay tuned” as we will be announcing when we have the bones on display.

  • Scott April 16, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    Jeez, a rough season for grays in both WA and BC. More Arroyo whale photos, from pro Robin Lindsey (also of Seal Sitters) are here – http://bit.ly/9Ofk2R

  • Mookie April 16, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    Such a sad subject, but those photos from Robin Lindsey are superb.

  • grr April 16, 2010 (8:56 pm)

    I’m suprized they don’t just let it sink to the bottom, as it natrualy would. There’s a whole ecosystem down there that thrives on these things…

  • alkira April 16, 2010 (10:35 pm)

    Some of us are animal lovers… please don’t post the pictures of dead animals without a warning. Maybe a warning and then a link to the pictures for people who enjoy viewing them (I don’t understand it, but to each their own??)? I don’t understand why people object to pictures of dead people but not dead animals. I guess they hold people in higher esteem than animals. I don’t. I don’t get a rush off seeing a dead whale. I don’t find it educational. I find it sensationalist. I am horrified and saddened. When will animals get the respect we give people?

  • LisaM April 17, 2010 (9:13 am)

    I am with Alkira – it’s painful for me to see photos of animals who have suffered or been abused, and it seems to be perfectly acceptable for them to be posted w/o warning or used in advertisments. It’s very disturbing and I would appreciate a “graphic images” or “this may be disturbing to some people” warnings as well.

  • Paul B April 17, 2010 (1:49 pm)

    … It’s probably better to let it rot on a beach, just above low tide level, because then the bottom dwelling creatures will have a feast, and then later, when the bones are picked clean, the researchers can put the bones together for a display. DNA could be taken from it and a new whale cloned for us, after we’ve polluted the water so much that nothing can live in it.

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