Unveiling the Mysteries Behind Humpback Whale Deaths

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The necropsy that was recently done on humpback whales at Virginia Beach has shown very interesting similarities which are leaving people who study sea animals puzzled. These large beasts are famous for their beauty and elegance. However, many of them have been found dead on beaches leading to increased anxiety within the groups advocating for the preservation of wildlife. Why do these huge marine animals die under such unfortunate circumstances?

Recently the two whales, which were both found dead on the same day, have some notable similarities. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Stranding Response team has finished in-field assessments of the two whales although they are still unable to know the cause of the deaths. The first one washed up in a popular area of the Virginia Beach front ocean near 25th Street in the Sunday, 3rd of March. That particular whale was 32 feet long and weighed around 32,000 pounds in weight. The second whale was found floating in the water and into False Cape State Park on Monday, March 4. It was 27 feet long and weighed about 21,800 pounds.

Delving into the Investigation

The Virginia Aquarium team has determined that the two whales were both young males. Both had “unusual skin lesions” and are currently being investigated by the team. They also note that the whale had healed wounds that appeared to be from previous entanglement with fishing line, nets or other contaminants. A spokesperson for the aquarium says pre-entanglement is “a deadly and chronic part of these animals’ lives”.

Tissue samples, photos, data for analysis, purposes of determining a cause of death for both whales were taken by Stranding Response team, they will analyze these later. According to Aquarium, this is a careful process that requires Time in order to make sure they come up with the correct decision on why these whales died.

It has become a common problem for past few years that whales have been stranding in the Chesapeake region. This year alone, there have been three humpback whale deaths in the Chesapeake Bay region: two off Virginia Beach last week, and another off Assateague Island within Maryland. However, this has been a major issue for humpback whales stranding in the Chesapeake region over several years now as indicated in our previous discussions. NOAA declared an Unusual Mortality Event for these whales along the Atlantic coast of America back in 2016 after which over two hundred and fifteen of them died during this period.

After carrying out internal and external examinations on the Virginia Beach cases that are recent, the whales have been buried at the beaches where they were washed up.

A Call to Action

It is apparently that there is more need to protect humpback whales together with their marine habitats basing on the similarities shown during the necropsy that had taken place at Virginia Beach, various groups should join hands in preventing possible dangers and protecting the future of such well known marine creatures.

The findings of autopsies in Virginia Beach presented an urgent issue that required immediate and collective attention. By uncovering the mystery behind humpback whale deaths, we are not only honoring the memory of these magnificent creatures, but also paving the way for sustainable human and marine wildlife habitats. We need to heed the call to action to preserve the beauty and diversity of our oceans for future generations.