Posted by: The ocean update | May 8, 2015

Pilot whale beaches at Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA)

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. Rescuers haul in a pilot whale that stranded Thursday at Kennedy Space Center.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. Rescuers haul in a pilot whale that stranded Thursday at Kennedy Space Center.

May 8th, 2015. Biologists will test whether a measles-like virus killed in an 11-foot pilot whale that beached itself Thursday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

“It’s a big female,” said Megan Stolen, a research scientist with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. “It was emaciated.”

Rescue-SNM

Stolen and fellow biologists are examining the pilot whale’s remains Friday at Hubbs’ lab near Melbourne Beach, extracting lung, lymph node and spinal cord tissues to test for the so-called morbillivirus.

Ed Sibylline : and no necropsy performed, just samples ? About the digestive tract ? (one of the target of this virus).

At about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Hubbs biologists received a report from Canaveral National Seashore staff that the whale had become stranded alive on the beach within the national park.

The whale washed out for a while but washed back into the beach at KSC by about 1 p.m. Thursday, Stolen said.

Hubbs staff euthanized the whale (Ed Sibylline : so, it’s not the virus which killed the whale but the pseudo “rescuer” !). Deep-sea whales rarely survive beaching (Ed Sibylline : definitely, if they are not medically cared). But National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries also mandates that all whales and dolphins that beach during a morbillivirus outbreak must be euthanized to prevent the spread of the virus (Ed Sibylline : without knowing whether this virus is present or not ?).

Morbillivirus-SNM

If tests continue to show no morbillivirus infections, NOAA Fisheries may soon consider declaring a formal end to the unusual die-off, Stolen said. That would also end the mandatory euthanizing of the stranded dolphins and whales.

Ed Sibylline : and what about this test (“sonar” test, a BIG virus which kills a lot !), strangely never performed ?

Methodology for in situ gas sampling, transport and laboratory analysis of gases from stranded cetaceans (link)

Rescue-in-progress-SNM

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