Photo: Twitter - Humpback whale discovered beached in Alaska on Monday

Young humpback whale dies after 2 strandings in Alaska

The whale may have followed a pod of belugas and likely was unfamiliar with the area

A young humpback whale that twice beached in Alaska was found dead south of Anchorage.

The whale on Sunday and Monday twice become stranded along Turnagain Arm, KTUU-TV reported . The second time, the whale was just south of Girdwood, a ski resort community at the southern boundary of Anchorage. It freed itself Monday night.

On Tuesday, however, the whale was again beached a few miles south of its previous stranding, said Verena Gill of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Cook Inlet beluga whale recovery co-ordinator, where wildlife responders discovered it had died.

READ MORE: Cat trapped in Edmonton sinkhole lured out by treats

The whale may have followed a pod of belugas and likely was unfamiliar with the area, Gill said.

Observers had seen a larger whale in the area that could have been its mother, Gill said.

The whale’s death changed plans from a rescue to a necropsy. NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Julie Speegle said a necropsy would begin Tuesday afternoon. Teams planned to work until the tide came in at 5 p.m.

Turnagain Arm is known for having some of the highest tides in the world and mud on the tidal flats is extremely dangerous.

Silt particles are laid down in a loosely oriented pattern by waters that carry them into the inlet, according to the Alaska Public Information Centers. When disturbed by feet, the particles resettle into a more tightly packed arrangement, making extraction much more difficult with the potential of trapping people who venture onto them.

Signs along the arm warn people to stay off the mud to avoid being trapped and drowned by the incoming tide.

READ MORE: Beluga whale with Russian harness raises alarm in Norway

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thornhill’s future takes centre stage at June 2 public hearing

The current community plan was adopted in 1981

Class will look different at Coast Mountain College this September

The college is embracing a distributed learning model

City council considers easing food truck restriction

Food trucks limited to four hours public parking, may increase to six hours

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Most Read