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Carcass of sperm whale washes ashore at Rushikulya rookery in Odisha

The carcass of a 33-foot-long sperm whale near Kantiagada in Ganjam district on Wednesday.- Photo: By Arrangement

The carcass of a 33-foot-long sperm whale near Kantiagada in Ganjam district on Wednesday.- Photo: By Arrangement  

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The carcass of a 33-foot-long sperm whale got washed ashore at the Rushikulya rookery in Ganjam district of Odisha on Wednesday.

It is the second sperm whale carcass to have reached Odisha coast. It was located near Kantiagada village. Speaking to The Hindu , Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera said after receiving information about the carcass, the forest officials cordoned it off. The carcass was in a decomposed condition and intestine had come out as the abdominal sac had burst open. “The reason behind the death can be ascertained by experts,” said the DFO.

Efforts are being made to preserve its skeleton, he added.

Reviewing its photographs, zoologist and cetacean expert of Odisha Muntaz Khan confirmed that it was the carcass of a sperm whale -- a mature female. According to him, the death could be due to age or some injury in deep sea. It had been washed ashore after several days of death, he added. “On December 4, 2015, a live female sperm whale measuring 9.8 meters had reached the coast near Keluni river mouth at north of Konark beach in Puri district,” said Mr Khan.

It was the third whale carcass in Ganjam district coast in recent years. Carcass of an over 45-foot-long Bryde’s whale had been found near Dankalpadu on May 3, 2007. In April 2, 2007, decomposed body of a 42-foot-long whale had been located near Nakaram village. Three whale skeletons have been preserved. The skeleton of a Bryde’s whale is now preserved by Chilika Development Authority at Satapada and those of a Bryde’s whale and a sperm whale are preserved in the Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneswar.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:59:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/carcass-of-sperm-whale-washes-ashore-at-rushikulya-rookery-in-odisha/article8190302.ece

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