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Dead whale in Southern California

The body of a 43-foot dead gray whale has found a resting place on a Southern California beach leaving California officials challenged by what to do with the 35 tons of whale.  In the U.S., attending to a stranded whale or dolphin is not only about a logistical response, but also a legal one.  Read more about the California situation in this New York Times update: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/29/us/dead-whale-california-beach.html?_r=1

Stranded narwhal found in Belgium

On the evening of 27 April 2016, a narwhal was found on the banks of the River Scheldt, Belgium (more than 50 km from the sea!). The animal was in an advanced state of decomposition. It is a juvenile male of 2.9 m length (without the tusk). Its remains weighed 290 kg. It was autopsied on 28 April in a joint effort by the Universities of Ghent and Liège.

This is the first recorded case of a narwhal in Belgium. The skeleton of the animal will be taken into the collections of the RBINS. 

Tooth fossil discovered belonging to extinct sperm whale

A huge, five-million-year-old tooth belonging to a distant relative of the sperm whale, has been discovered on a beach at Beaumaris Bay, near Melbourne.

The 30cm (12 inch) tooth is now on display at Museum Victoria. The whale, which may have measured up to 18 metres long, similar in size to a modern-day male sperm whale, is thought to have preyed on other smaller whales.

Four orcas trapped in ice rescued

Four orcas, including a young calf, who had become trapped in ice near Sakhalin Island just metres from the shoreline have been successfully freed. Rescuers, along with volunteers from the local community, worked together to break up the ice and initially two females and a calf were able to escape. The team then had to wait for a high tide and worked through the night to help the remaining male orca, who the team had named "Willie", to escape the ice. He was eventually escorted out to deeper ice-free water.

Port River dolphin numbers on the rise

Findings to be published in a forthcoming report show that the number of dolphins living in Adelaide's Port River have increased threefold in the last two decades.

The success of the population increase is being put down to improved water quality in the river and its estuary according to the author of the report, WDC's Research Fellow Emeritus, Dr Mike Bossley, who has been studying the dolphins for over 25 years.

Gulf oil spill caused increase in dolphin calf deaths

Scientists believe that the increased number of stranded stillborn and juvenile dolphins found in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010 to 2013 was likely caused by chronic illnesses in mothers who were exposed to oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, according to a new report which looked at dolphins found along the shorelines of Alabama, Louisiana and Missisippi.

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