Beached whale found near Vancouver dies

Jordan Chittley
Daily Brew

A beached humpback whale that washed ashore just south of Vancouver in White Rock Tuesday morning has died.

News 1130 reported when the whale was found it had fishing gear on and was in poor shape. A crowd of gathered trying to keep the mammal hydrated with buckets of water, but their efforts weren't enough.

According to CityTV journalist Greg Harper, the man who discovered the whale said it was alive for more than an hour and had fishing line tangled in its mouth.

A group of First Nations people gathered in a drum circle and people have been seen laying flowers on and near the whale as many take photos.

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Scientists are trying to figure out where the animal is from and where it's been by using the pattern on its tail fin. Officials plan to conduct a necropsy on the beach, but it's not known what will happen to the body afterward.

The whale is about eight to 10 metres long and believed to be about three years old. Humpbacks usually grow to between 12 and 16 metres and can weigh as much as 36,000 kilograms.

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This isn't the first time a whale has been beached in B.C. At the end of May, a young humpback was rescued in the nick of time after washing ashore in Knight Inlet on B.C.'s north coast entangled in prawn traps.

Humpbacks have been making a comeback along the B.C. coast after commercial whaling was outlawed in 1996. The animals are no longer considered to be a threatened species by the government and the population is growing at about four per cent per year.

(Photo by John Lehmann on Twitter)