Carcass of whale washed ashore in Bengal coast

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Carcass of a whale washed ashore in Bengal coast at Mandarmani beach in Purba Medinipur district on Monday.

The dead whale measured about 40 feet long and weighed about 50 tonnes.

“Some locals alerted us in the morning. We have not been able to remove the body because of the high tide,” Swagata Das, Divisional Forest Official, Purba Medinipur said.

Ms Das said that an autopsy will be conducted to ascertain death of the animal.

Later in the day, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India ( ZSI) identified the carcass as a female specimen of Bryde’s whale.

“It is a Bryde’s whale species Balaenoptera edeni. In 2012 a male whale of the same species had washed ashore near the Digha Mohana,” S Balakrishnan, head of Marine Aquarium & Regional Centre( MARC) ZSI told The Hindu.

Dr. Balakrishnan said the mammal may have washed ashore in high tide and could not return to the sea in low tide. He said that tissue samples of the whale is being preserved for research.

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