Dead beached whale at North Side

pigmy whale beached Cayman 300x250
A pygmy sperm whale has washed up on a North Side beach overnight.

The dead, 14-feet long whale was discovered in the morning hours of Wednesday, 21 December, on the beach at Northern Lights condos near Old Man Bay.

Department of Environment conservation officer Carl Edwards arrived at the scene at 6.20am and by mid-morning, he and others were trying to figure out how to get the whale off the beach.

“The seas are too rough to get a boat in there,” he said. “Ideally, I’d like to drag it back out to sea and put it back into the food chain and let the fish feed on it,” he said.

One of the options facing those tasked with removing the whale’s body before it starts decomposing and smelling is to drag it off the beach by truck to another site, cut it up and drop the body parts back into the ocean.

Tourists and locals were at the beach taking photos of the whale, which Mr. Edwards described as a perfect miniature of a sperm whale.

He said he could not immediately determine how the whale, which washed up overnight, died.

“I’ve been taking tissue samples to give to the scientists to do some research and find out how it died,” he said. “There are no obvious marks on the body, not bites or trauma to show anything hit it.”

This is the second time in a little more than two years that a pygmy sperm whale has washed ashore in Cayman. One was found on Spotts Dock in October 2009.
Pygmy sperm whales are considered to be rare and are usually only sighted once they become stranded on land. 

pygmy whale

The pygmy sperm whale washed up on the beach at Northern Lights condos.
Stephen Broadbelt

1 COMMENT

  1. Whilst fishing in the Bahamas 2 years ago with a marine biologist, we found a beached pilot whale which subsequently died.
    A post mortem was inconclusive, but multiple micro haemorrhages in the brain were suggestive of an injury probably caused by high powered sonar.

    I wonder if the Department of Agriculture Vets would have found similar injuries if they had performed an autopsy?

    At the time, it was thought that the Sonar in question, was used by the US Navy in a Submarine hunter, I wonder if this is the case here?, these animals have very advanced echo location sensors in their brains which have been seen to be easily damaged in experiments with marine sonar.

  2. Oh, Big Berd, I’ve seen this done once and it’s not a pretty sight; brilliant planning but poor execution.
    At least 90% of a 35 foot beached whale ended up in the woods behind us; flesh, blubber and bones hanging from the tree limbs and scattered across the ground.
    So much for trying to blow it out to sea!

    As for the DoE cutting up this RARE, unfortunate, mammal and returning it to the sea, why don’t they have it professionally defleshed and have the bones reassembled for display in an appropriate location (possibly the Turtle Farm?!, or not).

    Due to its rarity, it’ll soon be joining be the dinosaurs as a never again to be seen species.
    It would be a representative symbol of what we once had and eventually will be lost to future generations.

    This pygmy sperm whale should be preserved, simply because we may not have another opportunity, ever.

    Viewing, only, the skeleton would be a rare experience for all, let alone a live one.
    We have Museums, find it a home.

    Don’t make cut fish bait of this one!

  3. Editor(s);
    Just out of curiousity, could you please let us know what the DoE did with the whale.
    I would apreciate a feedback.
    It would let me know how the DoE thinks and operates.

    Editor’s note: We’ll have a follow up on this in tomorrow’s paper and on-line versions.

  4. So, Editor(s), what happened to the whale….Fish Food?

    Editor’s note: Follow up story will be in Friday’s Compass. I suspect, Mr. Republic, that you will not be best pleased with the outcome judging from previous comments.