Two Whales Wash Ashore in One Week

Officials believe ships may have hit both

By Craig Melvin
|  Monday, Mar 22, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Large Whale Washes Up on Del. Beach

W.P. Fowler

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As W.P. Fowler walked along the beach on Fenwick Island Friday, he smelled it before he saw it.

"There was only one big scar on it, but it was, it was very odious," he said.

When a 50-ton, 61-foot-long whale washes ashore, it became an immediate spectacle. A few hundred people stopped over the weekend to catch a glimpse of the beached fin whale, Fowler said. 

"At first when we saw it, we thought, 'How can this be here?'" Fowler said. "Then it was, 'OK, it's here. What are we gonna do with it?'"

Officials told News4 they've cut the whale into sections and will bury most of it. They'll study the rest.

It was the second whale to wash ashore in the area recently. On March 12, another beached whale surprised people in Ocean City. People who saw that 10-ton, 27=foot long female humpback said it looked like something may have hit it.

Based on the head trauma, Delaware officials are pretty sure a ship hit the whale that washed ashore Friday.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources officials said whale sightings are common this time of year for two reasons: Whales are passing through the mid-Atlantic to either feed in the north or spawn in the south.

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