RAMANATHAPURAM: The carcass of a female blue whale washed ashore on Valinokkam Beach here on Sunday morning. Residents spotted the carcass, in an advanced stage of decomposition, around 6.30 am and alerted a party of patrolling forest officials. The 20.2-metre-long whale was aged about 4-5 years and weighed around 7-8 tonnes, said Keelakarai Forest Ranger S Sikkandar Batcha. Since the carcass was about a month old, the cause of death or the presence of any injury could not be ascertained, he added. After a postmortem examination, the carcass was buried on the shore later in the evening.
Three carcasses in recent times
It may be recalled that the carcass of a female dugong washed ashore at Pudumadam on August 23, and the carcass of a dolphin washed ashore near Dhanushkodi on August 24. On June 6, the carcass of a 21-feet-long whale shark, aged around 35 years and weighing about 1.5 tonnes, washed ashore at Aathankarai near Alagankulam here. Commenting on these deaths, Batcha said that the causes of their deaths could be several, including ingestion of plastic, and injuries from hitting against boats or rocks.