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Disappearing Humpback Whale Carcass at Arch Cape Found in Short Sand Beach

Sep 21, 2016 04:08 AM EDT
Humpback Whales
The body of the dead humpback whale that washed off the Arch Cape re-emerged at the nearby Short Sand Beach.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The body of the dead humpback whale that disappeared at Arch Cape was found in Short Sand Beach, two miles south, officials report.

The body of the dead whale was first discovered near Falcon Cove beach near Arch Cape, where it remained for three days. However, high tide washed off the body before marine biologists could finish an examination. About 24 hours later, the carcass re-emerged in the nearby coast.

According to the report from Oregon Live, officials believe that the high tides predicted in the next few weeks will once again take back the body into the sea. The 38-foot humpback whale was claimed to be dead for quite some time before its first appearance.

Normally, when a dead whale washes into the shore during peak seasons, it would be buried by the park's department. But due to the relatively cool temperature and few beach-goers, officials plans to leave the body to scavengers and microorganism as it decays over the next few weeks. Researchers that have acquired federal permits could collect tissue sample from the whale. It is still unclear how the whale died.

Visitors of the park are encouraged to see the body, but are not allowed to take a sample or touch the carcass. Additionally, visitors should keep their pets away from the body and always keep an eye on the ocean for safety.

According to a report from Statesman Journal, staffs of the Oswald West State Park are planning to organize an interpretive talk about the whales on Sept. 24 and 25. The interpretive presentation will be conducted with or without the whale, in case the body is once again returned to the sea, and will be free of charge.

Humpback whales are large marine mammals that could grow up to 52 feet long and weigh about 79,000 pounds. It is listed as "Least Concern" in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and has a total population about 60,000 worldwide.

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