Whale dies after being stranded in waters near Aina Haina

Published On: Jan 14 2013 09:47:00 PM HST

A baby humpback whale got stranded in the shallow waters off Aina Haina.

It drew a large crowd earlier that could only watch and wait as biologists tried to save it.

"This just makes you want to cry," said Michelle Santos. 

"It is severely traumatized and has cuts all over its body.  The animal is in poor condition," said David Schofield of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Late Monday afternoon, while fishing, Todd Motoyama  noticed the whale flopping near the surf spot known as Secrets.

"It was struggling and dying," said Motoyama.

Scientists from NOAA arrived shortly after witnesses reported the sighting.

"It may have come ashore because of stranding and become entangled, but the cause for this animal to be in this situation is not entanglement," said Schofield.

Each year, NOAA receives on average less than ten reports of stranded whales in Hawaii.

"It is calfing season for humpback whales.  We see a certain number failing to thrive.  This is nature," said Schofield. 

The whale is no more than a couple days old based on its 15-to-17 foot length and approximate weight of a ton and a half according to NOAA.  

NOAA says the whale died shortly before 9 p.m. Monday night. 

They plan to remove the humpback using heavy equipment on Tuesday.


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