Officials urge caution after adult sperm whale carcass washes up on Kauai

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Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 3:58 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State and federal agencies are urging caution after an adult sperm whale carcass washed up on an outer reef of Kauai’s North Shore.

Officials said the whale carcass is near Pilaa Beach.

Experts said they believe the whale died at sea four to five days ago and floated ashore.

Although the carcass is in a remote location, officials are urging caution as tiger sharks are likely to be drawn to the area to feed on the whale.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has posted shark warning signs as a safety precaution.

NOAA and the DLNR said they are working with a Native Hawaiian practitioner to ensure stranding response actions are culturally respectful.

Officials also caution that it is against both federal and state law to remove any body parts or bones from protected marine species, like sperm whales.

As the whale decomposes, officials said oils and tissue from the carcass will likely wash ashore.

Pet owners are advised to keep dogs and other animals away from carcass materials to prevent them from eating the whale and getting sick.

State and federal agencies said they are monitoring the situation.

To report a live or dead stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, contact the NOAA Marine Wildlife at 1-888-256-9840 or 808-643-DLNR.

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