A sad ending

Read our earlier post on the disentanglement here.
It’s a very sad outcome. I suppose it’s not surprising though given the extent of the injuries she sustained from the entanglement; however, given how tough these animals are, I always have hope they’ll make it.
Teams have gathered in Florida to collect valuable information and samples from the animal to determine how the 2-year old died. Indications are that the ropes that were deeply embedded in her mouth probably destroyed some of her baleen which kept her from feeding and contributed to her death. Also a possibility is that sharks may have attacked her because she was so weak. Hopefully the investigation will clarify some of these questions so we can better understand what happened and figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. What is clear is that the entanglement in fishing gear lead to her death. For a species with so few animals left on the planet, this cannot go on. They won’t make it.
In order to protect the species, we need a better understanding of how these animals get entangled, what gear they are getting caught in, how that gear behaves while it’s being fished as well as when and where these events are most likely to occur. We’ve been working very hard with many partners to obtain the best available science to enable us to answer these questions.
One thing we do know is that this is a horrible and painful way to die and situations like these make me very sad. They also make me want to work even harder to make sure events such as these are very rare.  I want them to be rarer than the animals themselves because future generations shouldn’t only be able to learn about these animals from museums and old stories.

Disentanglement team approaching whale (c) EcoHealth Alliance