Kirsten Robinson - Photo NECROPSY REVEALS INJURY: An 11.8-metre-long male humpback whale carcass was recently discovered on Muscle Beach and a necropsy performed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Friday revealed the animal had a broken jaw that may have been caused by an interaction with a vessel. DFO plans to leave the whale where it is so it can contribute to the local food-web. Read about it on page 3.

Humpback whale washes up near Ucluelet

A necropsy performed on the large mammal revealed it had a broken jaw, which indicates significant trauma.

The carcass of a humpback whale has washed up on shore at Twin Rivers beach near Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island.

Local marine mammal researcher Wendy Szaniszlo told the Westerly News on Sunday the area the whale washed up is around La Perouse Bank, where humpbacks are abundant and added that she particpated in a DFO survey in August where “well over 100” humpbacks were spotted.

“The humpback population is a growing population. There’s a lot of them,” she said. “They were listed as threatened and now their numbers are coming back. So, from a recovery perspective, that’s definitely a good news story…There’s definitely enough food for them, at least in this area and the fact that they’re not being hunted anymore goes a long way as well to help their recovery.”

Photos of the carcass were being shared on the Salmon Beach Village Facebook page Sunday afternoon and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers recently conducted a necropsy that revealed the mammal had a broken jaw.

“Unfortunately the lower right jaw was dislocated, which indicates some sort of significant trauma,” said DFO Marine Mammal Coordinator Paul Cottrell. “Human interaction could be the cause of that type of impact, it could be a vessel for example, but that’s something we don’t know at this point and we’re working with the samples we’ve taken and the pictures and all the details and hopefully we’ll be able to clarify things.”

The roughly 12-metre long whale is believed to have been dead for “well over a week” before being discovered, information might be hard to obtain as it was already in a state of decomposition.

Cottrell says the DFO hopes to leave the carcass where it is as it is not in a heavily used area and could be a key food source for local wildlife.

“If it’s isolated and not going to be a human danger, we’ll leave it where it is for other animals…All the marine critters there benefit from a huge animal dying like that, which is sad, but at least when it’s going back to nature it can help the food web that’s in that area,” he said.

One of the biggest threats to West Coast humpbacks is the possibility of being struck by boaters, adds Szaniszlo.

“That’s definitely a safety concern for the whale, but also people in smaller, fast boats as well. That’s the biggest concern so, if you see a blow, go slow,” she says.

Just Posted

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

‘Construction on Sooke Road going well’ – Transportation Ministry

Ministry asks that drivers obey traffic control personnel and watch out for workers

Oath of office not needed: North Saanich councillor

District council set to approve oath that had been repealed in 2012

VicPD officers assaulted by women in two separate incidents

One officer’s injuries required a hospital visit, following downtown fray

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Wounded Warrior Run BC makes it to the Comox Valley

Day four of the annual fundraiser saw the team stop in Courtenay and Comox

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

WATCH: Walking from Argentina to Alaska one step at a time

Holly “Cargo” Harrison is in Williams Lake, resting a pulled hamstring before he continues on his 15,000-mile walk to Alaska.

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Former Canuck Roberto Luongo addresses Florida shooting victims

Parkland, Fla., resident, delivers speech before Florida Panthers’ first home game since tragedy

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kelowna skier Kesley Serwa adds to Canada’s gold medals

Despite losses in men’s hockey and curling, Canadian women won medals in ski cross and figure skating

Most Read