Galveston whale re-buried after necropsy

Galveston whale re-buried after necropsy

After a seven-hour necropsy, the heavy remains of a 44-foot whale were buried again in a deep beach trench on a warm Galveston Island afternoon earlier this week, authorities confirmed.

The burial was conducted on the shoreline in the Terramar Beach subdivision, where the huge marine creature was pulled from the surf with strong chains attached to two front-end loaders to determine the cause of its death.

Marine life experts wanted to determine what illness caused the deep-water dwelling creature to float himself to a sandbar on the beach, where it died at around 12:30 p.m. last Tuesday. But, experts could not determine the cause of the mammal’s death.

Heidi Whitehead, a coordinator for the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, said, “We haven’t found a cause of death at this point. It’s way too soon to draw conclusions.”

Whitehead added that specimens collected during the necropsy had been sent to a laboratory for further analysis, but there was no certainty that the cause of the deep-water dwelling mammal’s death will be determined.

The whale has tentatively been identified as a Sei whale, a member of the baleen whale family. Sei whales usually grow up to 60 feet in length and 100,000 pounds in weight. These whales prefer to remain at deep depths in subtropical to sub-polar waters far from the coastline.

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