State monitoring whale carcass floating near Oahu

Published: Oct. 24, 2013 at 9:49 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM HST
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It isn't exactly the majestic image often thought of with whales. There is believed to be a 30 to 40 foot dead sperm whale floating off the coast of Windward Oahu. It appears to have been dead for awhile.

"It kind of looked like Swiss cheese it had a bunch of holes in it, the stomach had been eaten out, you can see some ribs poking out. It was a pretty interesting scene," said Brad Peebles, Bradbury Photography.

Brad Peebles had heard about it from some fisherman friends and went out on his buddy's helicopter to take a closer look.

"We were actually looking to see some sharks eating the carcass, but there weren't really any there," said Peebles. "We were flying about 50 feet off the ocean but we did not smell it luckily."

It's estimated to be about four miles outside Kaneohe Bay. The State Department of Land and Natural Resources was alerted and is working on contingency plans. One option would be to pull it further out to sea. Another option could be dealing with it if it indeed hits the shore.

This month the HPU Marine Mammal Stranding Program has already responded to a false killer whale stranding at South Point, where the endangered animal had fish hooks, gear and a plastic bottle in its stomach. There was another case this month involving a beached striped dolphin in Waimanalo.

Scientists are now waiting to see where the whale carcass will end up.

Peebles thought it might drift into Kaneohe Bay Thursday night, but with varying winds and current it's only a guess.

If you see the whale on shore send us a picture to the HawaiiNewsNow Facebook page.

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