‘They're dying:’ Another whale washes up on N.S. shoreline
Published Thursday, November 24, 2016 8:38PM AST
Last Updated Friday, November 25, 2016 11:31AM AST
Another dead whale has washed ashore in Nova Scotia, and it looks like this one may be staying for a while.
The whale is sitting on an isolated stretch of the East River, near New Glasgow, N.S. News of its discovery comes after the removal of a whale carcass from a beach in Tracadie, N.S.
The six-metre long-finned pilot whale washed up on the shore in Tracadie earlier in November, leaving a strong stench in the area. It was removed by the Department of Natural Resources Thursday morning.
The whale near New Glasgow was discovered in October.
“So about a month ago, five weeks ago, some fellow kayakers alerted me to the whale, stranded in the river, and took a paddle up and sure enough, there he was,” says kayaker Brian Semple. “No visible damage. He's starting to smell pretty good now, of course.”
After looking at photos, experts believe it's a five-metre long, juvenile minke whale. It's not the first time such an animal has been seen so far up the tidal river.
In May 2011, another juvenile minke whale swam even further up the river, and got stranded at low tide. In that case, crews were able to rescue and refloat the whale, and tow it back to open ocean.
An official with the New Glasgow Public Works Department says the location of the carcass makes it extremely difficult to get heavy equipment in to move it. Given that it's not having any residential impact, they have decided to leave it where it is for the time being.
Experts say the recent number of whales and dolphins washing up on Maritime shorelines isn't especially high. The animals are often chasing after food, and can't find their way back to the ocean.
“It doesn't seem that unusual at this point. We'd have to tally things up at the end of the year and see if there are any trends,” says Andrew Reid of the Marine Animal Response Society. “They're basically coming ashore because they're dying. They can't support themselves in the water anymore. They can't keep up with their pod, if it's a social species like dolphins.”
The Department of Natural Resources say they will visit the New Glasgow site in the near future.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh