whale, offspring, appear safe
Expert doesn't believe
whale found floating off Grand Manan is related to Calvin
BY MIKE MULLEN
Preliminary results of a necropsy performed on the carcass of an Atlantic right
whale found floating Monday off Grand Manan suggest it wasn't related to the
celebrated orphan Calvin.
"I don't believe so," Amy
Knowleton of the New England Aquarium said Thursday. "Calvin had her first calf
a year ago. This animal is probably too small to be her yearling. It was
probably born last winter."
Knowleton was part of a team
from the aquarium that carried out the necropsy on Tuesday after a
whale-watching tour operator towed the dead whale's carcass to a beach on
Campobello Island. Early results, she said, indicate it was struck 13 times on
the back, by the propeller blades of a small vessel.
measurement data suggests it was not a large vessel but we are going to do some
further analysis to see if we can pin down the estimated size of the vessel
involved," she said. "It had been dead for at least a week."
Discovery of the whale's carcass had raised fears that it
might be Calvin's as-yet unnamed calf.
Calvin took on
full celebrity status among Canadian and U.S. biologists last summer when,
nearly 13 years after it was orphaned as a toddler, both she and playful calf
were spot ted in the Grand Manan Basin.
before her sex was known) was just eight months old in 1992 when her mother,
known as Delilah, died from a suspected ship strike in the bay. Since calves
usually stay with their mother for the first 11 or 12 months, nobody at the
Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station had expected Calvin to survive.
Later that year, however, Calvin was in the news again
when she became entangled in fishing gear.
remains of Delilah, whose carcass washed up on Grand Manan, is part of the
permanent collection at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.