Dead grey whale towed to Sidney for necropsy

A  male grey whale found dead, and floating between Sidney Island James Island Thursday was towed to Sidney for necropsy at  the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Under the species at risk act, the grey whale population in this region is listed as a 'species of special concern.'

Department of Fisheries spokesperson Lara Sloan says it's hoped the procedure will determine the cause of death, and provide vital information for whale researchers and scientists.

" They don't have results yet, they typically don't. It usually takes a couple of weeks. They take a lot of tissue samples.  And the results of necropsies feed into a body of knowledge that helps us assess threats to whales from a population perspective, from each whale population." 

What the necropsy did show was that the whale was just under 12 metres, or about 39 feet -- which would indicate an age of 5-11 years old.  There was no obvious sign of trauma, which means it did not die of a ship strike.

Sloan says the carcass will be towed to a secluded bay to decompose naturally. 

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