USA: Dead Whale May Have Been Killed By Orcas

13th Sep 2002 Story: www.koin.com

Scientists suspect a pod of orca whales attacked a fin whale that was found dead near a cargo ship in Portland early last week.

The fin whale was estimated to be between four and six years old. It was discovered alongside the car carrier Ruby Ray at the Port of Portland.

Keith Chandler, general manager of the Seaside Aquarium and volunteer coordinator for the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, theorizes that the whale was likely attacked by an individual or perhaps a group of orcas.

The 38-foot long fin whale's tongue was ripped completely out and has led scientists to believe it was attacked either by a single killer whale or a pod.

Rowann Tallmon, of the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington, says orcas hunt like wolves and will bring down a large whale. The lips and tongue are the first places attacked.