The 29-foot carcass of a humpback whale that washed up on the Plymouth, Mass., shoreline about a mile south of Manomet Point is stimulating interest in a local whale and dolphin conservation fundraiser.
A blubber bag of bones is all that’s left of the juvenile humpback whale that washed up in Plymouth, Mass., but the smelly, sagging carcass may be a boon to the whale’s brethren.
The 29-foot, 4-ton behemoth that washed up on the Plymouth shoreline about 1 mile south of Manomet Point is sparking interest in a local whale and dolphin conservation fundraiser.
“We were having trouble getting residents and businesses interested in the event, but since the carcass washed up we’ve had numerous calls from people wanting to help,” senior biologist Regina Asmutis-Silvia said. “It’s kind of sad that a dead whale is inspiring people.”
Asmutis-Silvia works for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society in Plymouth. For more information on the fundraiser, scheduled for Oct. 2 in Marshfield, visit awhaleaffair.org.
Asmutis-Silvia and New England Aquarium and state wildlife officials are working to save the bones of the dead humpback.
State wildlife officials offer such bones to institutions and museums for display and education.
Although decaying rapidly, the carcass is still drawing visitors.
“You can’t believe these things are out there, they are so big,” Michael Cashman said, standing near the whale remains. “You only see part of them when they’re in the water.”
Cashman and his wife, Dawn, came down from Kingston to see the carcass.
They moved to the area this summer and took their first whale-watching trip in July.
“We’ve seen about 30 whales,” Dawn Cashman said. “It’s sad to see this one.”
“It’s awesome, really,” Natick resident Bill Minichiello said. “I’ve seen them in the wild but never a dead one.”
Biologists hope to have the necessary manpower to cut up the carcass on Friday, but the task may have to be put off until next week because of an expected storm.
Tamara Race may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.