Dead whale beaches on back side of Douglas Island

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) A dead gray whale spotted floating south of Douglas Island a week ago has beached.

National Marine Fisheries Service spokeswoman Sheela McLean said the animal landed on the back side of Douglas Island at Point Hilda near Middle Point. The beaching was reported by a fisherman.

The agency will not do a necropsy because its whale experts are out of town and the procedure is expensive, McLean told KINY-radio.

The agency will save its resources for more endangered species, she said.

Gray whales were removed from the endangered species list in 1994.

Samples of the gray whale were taken and sent to labs to look at genetics and whether contaminants were present.

Agency personnel last week said the 30- to 35-foot whale showed no sign of injury and no ship reported striking a whale.

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