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DNRís Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Stranding Program to Perform Necropsy on Stranded Humpback Whale
BERLIN ó Biologists from Marylandís Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Stranding Program began performing a necropsy today on a 35- to 40-foot humpback whale that was recently discovered stranded in the Atlantic Ocean off the Maryland coast. The U.S. Coast Guard towed the animal onto shore at Assateague State Park earlier today; the whale had first been seen floating approximately 6 miles off Ocean City yesterday morning.
The necropsy will take place on the beach near the parkís nature center today and likely tomorrow. Media who would like to attend the necropsy are asked to comply with Maryland Park Service rangers and to not interrupt biologists.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists partnered with biologists from the National Aquarium in Baltimore to perform the necropsy. Other partners in this effort include the Town of Ocean City and the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
The Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program is administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service and includes volunteer stranding networks in all coastal states. In Maryland, the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network has been administered jointly by DNR at the Cooperative Oxford Lab (COL) and by the National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB) since the fall of 1990. COL stranding personnel respond to dead, stranded animals, while the NAIB responds to live animals.
The DNR staff at the Cooperative Oxford Lab in Talbot County is asking visitors to Marylandís beaches this summer to be on the lookout for marine mammals such as dolphins or whales, and sea turtles that have become stranded or appear to be dead. Anyone who spots such an animal is asked call the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program at 1-800-628-9944. Be sure to note the location of the animal, what species it is and what kind of condition itís in when making the call. For more information on the program, call http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/oxford/research/fwh/strandingprogram.html
June 15, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov