Subject: Re: A Whale

Kim Marshall (kim@whale.org)
Thu, 2 Nov 1933 17:15:56 -0400

>  Question:
   I work on a offshore platform and on 6-24-98   "about"" I saw a
whale that had half of its tail cut off!   It looked like someone had
taken a knife and went right down his spine then cut  his tail off!! But it
was still swimming and jumping with the other whales it  was with.. 
It still looked healthy, like it had been done awhile  ago.  I was
working off Point Conception in California then, and was  wondering if you
or someone has heard of this whale?

Reply:
I know of right whales off Argentina and humpback whales off the east coast
of the US that function fine even though they are missing part of their
tails or flukes.  Usually the cause of these injuries is from the
propellors of large boats and ships expecially when the injury is straight
in nature as you described.  Orca or killer whales also attack young whales
and can cause permanent injuries.  It is amazing that the whales can adapt
but they do.  I do not know of the whale you are referring to but I do not
know individual whales that are studies when they are off the west coast.

I suggest surfing WhaleNet's pages to try to link to a research
organization on the west coast that may know this paticular whale.  Try
searching by clicking on http://whale.wheelock.edu/howtofind.html for an
appropriate link.

Good luck!! Kim

Kim Marshall-Tilas                                   (781) 259-0423
Whale Conservation Institute                          fax: 259-0288
191 Weston Road                      website: http://www.whale.org/
Lincoln, MA  01773
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