Ne­cropsy un­der­way

An­other right whale found dead

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

Marine mam­mal ex­perts be­gan carv­ing up the re­mains of an­other en­dan­gered North At­lantic right whale this past week­end in a bid to de­ter­mine what caused the death of the lat­est whale to be found float­ing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Matthew Hardy of the Fish­eries Depart­ment said around 30 peo­ple were as­sist­ing in the ne­cropsy - or an­i­mal au­topsy - be­ing con­ducted near a light­house on the north­ern tip of Mis­cou Is­land, N.B. The an­i­mal is the eighth North At­lantic right whale to have died in the Gulf over the last six weeks.

Hardy said the whale was first spot­ted Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon east of Ship­pi­gan, N.B., while an­other right whale was found en­tan­gled in fish­ing gear in the in the Gulf.

“We’re re­spond­ing to this in a very ... proac­tive man­ner to try and get to the bot­tom of this,” Hardy said in an in­ter­view Fri­day. “This opens more ques­tions than we’ve an­swered.”

A full-sized ex­ca­va­tor was on site, peel­ing back lay­ers of blub­ber so sci­en­tists can look at the an­i­mal’s in­ter­nal or­gans, Hardy said. He de­scribed the smell as “un­for­get­table,” but said the 14-me­tre car­cass is in fresher con­di­tion than the rot­ting re­mains that were ex­am­ined in the pre­vi­ous five necrop­sies.

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