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2007 Blue Whale Strandings

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  Blue Whale Stranding #SBMNH 2007-19



GENERAL INFORMATION

  • ID Tag: SBMNH 2007-20
  • Stranding Location: Hobson County Beach Park in Ventura, CA. Later towed to Faria County Beach. 
  • Gender: Sub-adult female
  • Size: about 72 feet long and weighs about 120,000–140,000 pounds
  • Age: About 3–5 years; whale was not pregnant and was most likely not of breeding age
  • Cause of Death: Ship Strike.
  • Necropsy: Completed September 17, 2007 
     


     

TIMELINE
The necropsy team did an amazing job working with Adobe CO in Ventura and Specialty Crane in Santa Barbara. Together this team excavated, necropsied and buried a 72-foot Blue Whale in 72 hours. This is probably the fastest successful necropsy on the South Coast.

Tuesday,
September 11, 2007
 
While the Blue Whale was floating in the ocean, tissue samples were taken by Marine Mammal Institute of Oregon.
Thursday,
September 14, 2007

The Blue Whale stranded at Hobson County Beach Park in Ventura, CA at about 5:30 PM.
Friday,
September 15, 2007

Blue Whale Stranding-Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
A preliminary necropsy was performed on Hobson County Beach by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and assisted by The Marine Mammal Center and the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute. Ventura County officials decided to move the whale to a beach site just outside Faria County Beach, about 2 miles south of the original stranding point.
Saturday,
September 16, 2007

Blue Whale Stranding-Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
 
The whale was towed off Hobson County Beach Park by boat back into the ocean and towed along the coastline about 2 miles to another location just outside Faria County Beach. The necropsy was resumed and revealed that the most likely cause of death was a ship strike along the backside of the whale. Date, time, and exact location of the incident and death are unknown. Scientists were able to collect tissue samples for biochemical and genetic testing. Remains of the whale were buried on site.
Sunday,
September 17, 2007

Blue Whale Stranding-Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
The Museum harvested the skull bones and some of the broken vertebrae. The Museum had hoped to collect the whole skeleton, but the bones were too badly damaged.

Specialty Crane & Rigging of Santa Barbara transferred the bones from the beach to a flat bed truck and transported the bones to Gaviota, CA. The last remains of the whale were buried on the beach by Adobe CO of Ventura.

NECROPSY TEAM

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
    - Paul Collins, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology
    - Krista Fahy, Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology
    - Michelle Berman, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Zoology & Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator
    - Mike Caterino, Curator of Entomology
    - Jessica Waters, Videographer
    - Easter Moorman, Media Contact
     
  • The Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito Office)
    - Frances Gulland, Director of Veterinary Science
     
  • Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute
    - Sam Dover, Chief Veterinarian and Executive Director
    - Ruth Dover, Director of Business Operations
    - Greg Cocklin, Director of Facilities


 

 

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