33-Foot-Long Humpback Whale Washes Up North of Bethany - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

33-Foot-Long Humpback Whale Washes Up North of Bethany

Posted: Updated:
The MERR Institute estimated this whale to be approximately 33,000 pounds (Source: Suzanne Thurman) The MERR Institute estimated this whale to be approximately 33,000 pounds (Source: Suzanne Thurman)
The whale was first seen by a neighbor Friday morning (Source: Suzanne Thurman) The whale was first seen by a neighbor Friday morning (Source: Suzanne Thurman)

BETHANY BEACH, Del. - Some neighbors in the Bethany Beach area stumbled upon a 33,000-pound surprise Friday morning, when a Humpback Whale washed ashore. The 33-foot-long whale, which is part of an endangered species, was found dead on the beach by the Pelican's Pouch community, off of Route One.

The whale was reported by a neighbor at approximately 6:30 a.m., according to Suzanne Thurman, from the MERR Institute. A crew from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control used a dozer to move the whale to dry sand where a necropsy was conducted by the MERR Institute. 

"Since it's such a huge animal," Thurman said. "It's difficult to get to the internal organs. So there's a process involved. And our goal is to access all the organs - the lungs, the heart, the brain, everything we can to test for disease and bio-toxins." 

Thurman said that the initial study showed that the whale was male and no more than a couple years old. She said It was still unclear how it died, although it appears to have "blunt force trauma," which might indicate that the creature was hit by a boat. Thurman said finding the cause for death is important, because whales can be used as a "barometer" to test the quality of the water. 

"These marine mammals," she said. "They're mammals just like we are, but they live in the oceans. And they're susceptible to a lot of toxins and environmental issues that's going on in their marine habitat. And since we as humans access the oceans. Some people eat food from the oceans, we are susceptible to the same things that impacts these animals."

Tony Pratt, from DNREC's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section, said that crews will be back on the beach at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning to bury the creature. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Under Fire

    10/17/2017 17:44:00 -04:002017-10-17 21:44:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 6:30 PM EDT2017-10-17 22:30:06 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md. - A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county.Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State PolicMore
    SALISBURY, Md. - A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county.Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State PolicMore
  • 18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    16 Inmates Charged With First-degree Murder in Del. Prison Uprising

    10/17/2017 10:14:00 -04:002017-10-17 14:14:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 2:25 PM EDT2017-10-17 18:25:59 GMT
    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.More
    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident.More
  • Arrest Made in Seaford Animal Cruelty Case

    Arrest Made in Seaford Animal Cruelty Case

    10/17/2017 15:28:00 -04:002017-10-17 19:28:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 3:50 PM EDT2017-10-17 19:50:18 GMT
    A Seaford man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges.More
    A Seaford, Del. man has been arrested on 449 charges, including felony animal cruelty, according to the state's Office of Animal Welfare.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More
  • Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More
  • As Neglected Animals Recover, the Owner's Family Speaks Out

    As Neglected Animals Recover, the Owner's Family Speaks Out

    The 31 dogs rescued from a home in Seaford are on the mend, officials say.

    "After our team worked to shave them down, we saw what we expected: that they were severely emaciated," says Brandywine Valley SPCA Georgetown Campus Director Walter Fenstermacher. "But what we didn't expect was how warm their personalities were and how forthcoming they were and wanted to be pet and loved by our staff members."

    More

    The 31 dogs rescued from a home in Seaford are on the mend, officials say.

    "After our team worked to shave them down, we saw what we expected: that they were severely emaciated," says Brandywine Valley SPCA Georgetown Campus Director Walter Fenstermacher. "But what we didn't expect was how warm their personalities were and how forthcoming they were and wanted to be pet and loved by our staff members."

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices