Well-known humpback whale killed in boat collision - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Well-known humpback whale killed in boat collision

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Obama declares Washington wildfire emergency

    Obama declares Washington wildfire emergency

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:58:02 GMT
    Wetter, cooler weather has helped firefighters make progress in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control.
    Wetter, cooler weather has helped firefighters make progress in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control.
  • Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

    Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:56:03 GMT
    For Myra James, the process of going to the gynecologist is now too much to bear.
    For Myra James, the process of going to the gynecologist is now too much to bear.
  • Teacher slaying suspect in court on assault charge

    Teacher slaying suspect in court on assault charge

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:46:27 GMT
    A Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his teacher last year after following her into a bathroom similarly followed a worker at a youth detention facility into a locker room last month before choking and...
    A Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his teacher last year after following her into a bathroom similarly followed a worker at a youth detention facility into a locker room last month before choking and beating...

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Federal law enforcement officials are investigating after a 48-foot female whale well-known in the waters of southeast Alaska was killed in a collision with a boat.

A tour-boat operator found the whale, which had been seen in the waters of southeast Alaska for nearly 40 years, near Funter Bay on July 1. The carcass was hauled to a nearby beach, where a necropsy was performed July 3, officials said Friday.

"The left mandible was fractured and the right mandible was traumatically dislocated from the cranium," Dr. Kathy Burek of Alaska Veterinary Pathology Services, the lead veterinarian on the necropsy, said in a statement Friday. "Cause of death was determined to be ship strike."

During the necropsy, tissue and organ samples were collected, including stomach contents. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said analysis of the eye and ear plug should be able to determine the whale's age.

The whale has been known by several names, including Max, Aequorea or No. 539. It was first documented in Glacier Bay, near Juneau, in 1975. Records indicate she had at least five calves between 1982 and 2005. Her offspring have produced at least three other calves, officials said.

The whale was regularly seen in both Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Icy Strait. The last documented sighting was two years ago. Whales are distinguished by their distinctively pigmented tails.

The whale's death serves as a reminder for ocean users to slow down and be careful, said Aleria Jensen, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region marine mammal stranding coordinator.

"With a recovering population, we are seeing more and more humpback whales every year. This is a reminder to take extra precaution when whales are in the area and slow your vessel's speed. It's the number one action to take to prevent ship strike," Jensen said.

There were 108 collisions between boats and whales in Alaska waters from 1978-2011. Most of the boats involved were small vessels. A third of the collisions resulted in human injury or property damage. Many people were thrown into the water after the strike.

The investigation is being led by NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement. Officials ask if anyone has any information about this incident to call 1-800-853-1964.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.