A 40-feet-long endangered whale washed ashore in an estuary close to Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha's Kendrapara district, Forest department officials said Saturday.
The gargantuan mammal weighed around 12 tonnes. "It has become an uphill task for the Forest personnel to extricate the mammals body from the estuary near Talchua coast. We are planning to press into service a crane to remove the marine animals body," said Forest Range Officer, Subrat Patra.
The whale was washed ashore on Friday. The mammal's body bore injury marks. The species figures in the list of threatened marine species. The mammal is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. We are still undecided whether to bury the carcass after its post mortem, said the forest official.
Pictures show that the whale's carcass isn't 'beached' as one usually sees, rather it appears to be partially-floating towards the edge of the estuary near copious vegetation. Locals can be seen standing on it.
There are injury marks on the carcass
Disposing of carcasses of whales that wash ashore always present complications, as gas builds up in its internal cavities as it decomposes, with numerous incidents of impromptu explosions being recorded.
As there are injury marks, the mammal might have perished after being hit by either ship or trawl propellers.
After necessary legal formalities like post mortem examination is over, we would seek suggestion from department high-ups regarding preservation of the skeletal remains of the whale, he said.
Many curious villagers including fishermen thronged the estuary site to witness the giant whale.
The whale is in decomposed state and had scars and evidence of entanglements. Entanglements are common with this particular type of species because of their feeding habits, according to Forest officials.