Walsh/TeIegraph-Journal The carcass of a 16.5 metre finback whale was
discovered washed up on West Beach, which is about 5.5 kilometres east of Cape
Spencer on the East Side of Saint John, and accessible only by an hour's trip
on an all-terrain vehicle. Gerald Porter, left, and Billy Fournier of Saint
John are just two of the locals who have made the trek to see the
found rotting on West Beach
The carcass of a
16.5-metre-long '' finback whale discovered washed up on a secluded beach could
be the same animal that was impaled on the bow of a cruise ship last September
and towed out to sea by the Coast Guard.
The finback was
first discovered at West Beach last December.
is about 5.5 kilometres east of Cape Spencer on the city's East Side, and
accessible only by an hour's trip on an all-terrain vehicle.
The skin of the animal is pretty much gone, with only the
blubber remaining, said Laurie Murison, a researcher with the Grand Marian
Whale and Seabird Research Station, '; as she viewed photographs of the
"There's a little bit of connective tissue and
red underneath the skin," she said.
The animal measures
3.6 metres across and probably weighed at least 50 tonnes, she said.
Since the animal was found, many locals have been
trekking in to see it, including Gerald Porter of Loch Lomond and some friends.
Until recently, the whale was still `' partially frozen,
said Mr. Porter.
By Wednesday, the thawed and decomposed
carcass was starting to create a stench similar to rotting fish downwind. The
fleshy body is mostly intact except for a couple of pieces of baleen - the part
of mouth that filters food that lay nearby.
Marks on the
jawbones seem to indicate someone has tried to saw pieces off.
What will happen to the carcass is unclear, but Ms. Murison
said it would be a shame if it were vandalized.
certain New Brunswick Museum curator of zoology Don McAlpine will be interested
in adding it to his collection. Mr. McAlpine is away and unavailable for
"I'm sure that Don would want to `' monitor this
and collect bones as they become available," she said.
The Environment Department, the Department of Natural
Resources and Fisheries and Oceans will decide whether the animal poses a
public health or safety threat, said an environment department spokesman.
Fin whales are a common whale in the Bay of Fundy but are
listed as a species of concern, which means that their population is not as
great as it was pre-whaling. They live year round in the Bay of Fundy.