A 17-foot beaked whale carcass that washed up in the Rum Point area over the weekend will not undergo a necropsy, as there are reports that someone may have dragged the carcass out to sea.
The Department of Environment said a team of five, including at least two veterinarian, was all set to examine the whale this afternoon to try to determine its cause of death, but the whale was gone when they showed up Monday afternoon to perform the procedure.
DOE Research Officer Janice Blumenthal had hoped the necropsy would be fruitful, despite damage to the carcass from sharks and other scavengers.
“At the time the animal was found there was already fairly severe damage to the intestinal area, so that does limit some of the conclusions that we will be able to make, but we do hope to get some information from the necropsy,” said Ms. Blumenthal.
The animal has been identified as a Cuvier’s Beaked whale, a pelagic species that can dive to depths of almost 10-thousand feet.
This isn’t the first time this species has washed up on our shores. The DOE told Cayman 27 strandings have been documented from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.
In 2015 a Cuvier’s beaked whale necropsied in Scotland gained international attention when it was found to have more than eight pounds of plastic bags in its stomach.
Plastic Free Cayman told Cayman 27 the veterinarians involved were disappointed with Monday’s turn of events, which it called a missed opportunity.