Whale carcass removed from Kaneohe Bay reef

Whale carcass removed from Kaneohe Bay reef

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A salvage crew removed a massive humpback whale carcass from Kaneohe Bay on Saturday.

The 35-foot carcass washed into the bay and stranded on a reef near Marine Corps Base Hawaii Thursday night.

Experts believe this may be the same whale carcass that was first seen in waters off Haleiwa earlier this week. A dive company towed the whale eight miles offshore on Tuesday, but ocean currents may have brought it back toward the island.

"It's likely, based on the size and species and level of decomposition," said Kristi West, whale and dolphin stranding director for the University of Hawaii. "Unfortunately, without a tissue sample from the Haleiwa whale, we won't be 100% certain that it's the same whale."

The Department of Land and Natural Resources helped the salvage crew bring the whale into shore in pieces. The University of Hawaii's whale and dolphin stranding lab will examine the remains for any signs of vessel strikes or bone disease.

Due to decomposition, experts will likely not be able to determine a cause of death.

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