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    Posted April 13, 2014 by
    gilkesm

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    WHALE STRANDING IN BARBUDA WEST INDIES

     
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    WHALE STRANDING ON BARBUDA, WEST INDIES

    On Wednesday April 9th, 2014, a whale stranding occurred on Barbuda, West

    Indies between Palmetto and River Beach. Several attempts were make to push

    the whale back into the sea by local residents, but it returned to the beach each

    time. There was an initial report posted on face book by a Barbuda resident and

    the public was made aware of the stranding.

    On Thursday, April 10th I traveled to Barbuda on business and having a keen

    interest in marine mammals as a professional scuba diver, I went

    to the stranding site on Friday April 11th. The whale carcass was in bad shape

    There had been an attempt by local residents to remove some of the meat to eat.

    A large piece of meat was cut out of one side with incisions made on the other

    side. The carcass lay in the surf zone. Large waves were breaking over it,

    making it very difficult to photograph. I had hoped to measure the body and

    fins but was not able to get into the water. We did a rough measurement.

    It was approximately 18 feet in length. It was documented with a short video

    and photos on my facebook page and on the Antigua and Barbuda Whale and

    Dolphin facebook page. Several experts expressed the feeling that the whale is a

    Cuvier’s beaked whale from the photographs. Interest was made in trying to

    obtain the skull, but the Fisheries Division did not have the resources to bury the

    carcass or even retrieve it from the surf zone. Also at the time I photographed the

    whale there was a large shark in the area and already pieces had been taken

    from the whale. The reason for the stranding will never be known as we were

    unable to study the carcass.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Cuvier's beaked whale or goose-beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), the only member of the genus Ziphius, is the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales.[1] Though it is pelagic, prefers depth greater than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and avoids ships, it is still one of the most frequently spotted beaked whales.

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