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Beached whale dies at Delaware Seashore State Park

Courtesy of Suzanne Thurman
MERR Institute

A whale that beached itself Sunday at Delaware Seashore State Park has died.

The 50-foot whale beached itself just north of the Indian River Inlet. The Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute is performing a necropsy Monday)to determine the causes of death.

MERR Naturalist Rob Rector says MERR is attempting the necropsy Monday “during the short stretch of time we have during tide shifts.”

MERR’s Director Suzanne Thurman said Sunday that the young male fin whale was emaciated and had been sick for some time.

They had hoped to sedate the whale Sunday, but the water level made it too dangerous.

The 50-foot whale weighs one ton per foot. The plan is to bury it on the beach following the necropsy.

In 2022, a fin whale beached itself and died at the nearby Cape Henlopen State Park. It was buried on the beach.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.