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Dead humpback whale found at Cape Lookout National Seashore in December

Dead whale.jpg
(Photo: Cape Lookout National Seashore/National Park Service)
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The team helped collect one of the whale's front flippers and a 4-foot-long section of baleen from the whale's mouth to be processed and eventually used in an exhibit at the Harkers Island Visitor Center.

Officials with Cape Lookout National Seashore say a 31-foot female humpback whale was found dead on the beach just south of the ferry landing on North Core Banks on December 28.

A NC Marine Mammal Stranding Network team arrived the next day to inspect the whale and put together a stranding report for their files.

These reports track the whale's species and report on any necropsy results.

The team also helped collect one of the whale's front flippers and a 4-foot-long section of baleen from the whale's mouth to be processed and eventually used in an exhibit at the Harkers Island Visitor Center.

The flipper alone weighed more than 300 pounds.

The whale was left on the beach to decay naturally and officials say since it is low on the beach, within reach of the tides, the ocean could naturally bury it in the sand. The ocean could also reclaim it and float it to another location or a different beach.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.