ordered shot after overheating near Digby
BIG JOGGINS, N.S.
- A whale that was beached along a Nova Scotia shore was shot by RCMP officers
on Sunday, after Fisheries Department officials determined it had no hope of
The young minke whale was beached In Big
Joggins, located near Digby on the Annapolis Basin.
whale was badly hurt when Fisheries officers found it, said department spoke
sman Cue Barratt. "It was belly up to th e tide went out, and its whole layer
of skin was gone and it was quite badly blis tered," said Barratt. "The
prognosis for the animal was very dim, and the animal was ordered destroyed."
Barratt said when destroying such a large animal,
shooting it is not unusual. Fisheries Department experts also consulted Tonya
Wimmer, a Halifaxarea marine biologist who runs the Marine Animal Response
"It was extremely sunburnt, and it's very clear
this animal wouldn't have made it," said Wimmer.
overheat when they're out of water, and that's one of the main things that
destroys an animal this time of year."
Wimmer said it's
difficult to de stroy animals as large as whales. Euthanasia drugs can take too
long and pose a danger to other animals who eat the carcass.
"With an animal this size, (shooting it) is pretty much
the only way you can do it other than letting nature take its course, which for
this animal would be too painful," she said.
her group hopes to collect samples and examine the carcass before it is
The Marine Animal Response Society tracks
stranded marine animals, investigates why they become stranded or beached, and
offers advice on how to deal with them.