California: Vandals Deface Sperm Whale Corpse By Spray Painting It With Graffiti

The corpse of a large whale beached on a California beach has been vandalized by an unknown group of people, reports ABC News 10. Photographs of the decaying corpse taken by the crew of KRON4 showed a graffiti painted onto the corpse. It reads “East Bay Rats Motorcycle Club.” Upon further investigation, it was found that the group is a motorcycle club based out of the Bay Area — formed back in 1994. It is unclear if any members of the club were behind the act.

The whale, which happens to be a 48-foot-long specimen from the Sperm Whale species was found washed up on a Pacifica Beach on April 14, according to the LA Times. Following the discovery of the large mammal’s carcass at Mori Point at the south end of Sharp Park State Beach in Pacifica, biologists from the marine Mammal Center and the California Academy of Sciences had assembled there on April 15 and performed a necropsy on it to ascertain the cause of its death. The group was however unsuccessful in determining the cause of death.

According to Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr, there is speculation that the whale could have been killed after being hit by a ship. However, biologists did not find any evidence of broken bones or signs of blunt force trauma that would have caused the death of the animal. They did however deduce that the whale was already dead by at the time it beached. They also noticed evidence of some hemorrhaging on the whale — but remain unsure of the cause that could have caused it.

One thing the biologists noticed however was the fact that the whale was emaciated. However, examination of the mammal’s stomach indicated that the animal was eating. Like the cause of its death, the reason behind the animal’s emaciation remains a mystery to biologists. So far, they have also not been able to estimate the age of the whale, although they do confirm that it is a fully grown adult. They have collected teeth and tissue samples from the dead whale for further testing and analysis and hopefully they would have more clarity on what caused the large animal to die.

Sperm whale beachings are very rare incidents and in the past 40 years, only 17 stranded sperm whales have been discovered by the marine Mammal Center, Laura Sherr revealed.

The news of this beached sperm whale comes just a few days after the Inquisitr had reported about another incident where a mother and calf whale were euthanized by officials after they had beached on Florida’s Neptune Beach.

[Image Via ABC News 10]