Run-over whale washes up on north jetty

Published in Chinook Observer, April 22, 2009
The photo is was also published in the newspaper-
Photo courtesy of Seaside Aquarium/Tiffany Boothe
CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT - A sad story from Tiffany Boothe at the Seaside Aquarium: "A gray whale, pictured right, washed ashore Saturday, April 4. It was a sub-adult male measuring 30 feet. A preliminary look at the animal indicated that it was struck by a ship." The whale was found in Ilwaco and a necropsy was done April 11.

Worse yet, Boothe said, "because the beach was so rocky there was nothing that they could do to dispose of the carcass ... Usually, when they wash ashore on sandy beaches, we will bury them - or, when it is possible, we will move the whale to a location where it can be buried.

"A couple of years ago a gray whale washed in around the pilings near Safeway in Astoria. We were able to get a tug to move the whale to Social Security Beach where we could bury it. However, there is no way we can get a boat to tow this guy out, the water is too shallow and the rocks are too big."

Scientific reports state that more and more whales are dying from collisions with ships.

"Nearly 80,000 ships weighing more than 100 tons travel the world's oceans - each one easily capable of crushing a whale. In some waterways, vessel collisions account for the demise of between one-third to half of all whales found floating at sea, washed up on beaches, or carried into port on the bow of a ship," according to the Earth Island Institute.

Cape Disappointment State Park reported that a large number of eagles gathered to dine on the decaying whale last week.