July Humpback Death Likely from Ferry Strike


State and federal officials conducted the examination of the 25-ton humpback whale on Puffin Island in Kodiak in July after it was killed by what is now believed to be a collission with the ferry Kennicott. Photo courtesy Kate Wynn

Associated Press
Federal authorities believe the death of a humpback whale near Kodiak in late July was likely due to a collision with the state ferry Kennicott.
There were questions around the time of the incident about whether the animal was already dead when the ship struck it. Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that doesn’t appear to be the case. She says the whale was freshly dead when examined.
A necropsy found the cause of death to be a fractured skull due to a ship strike.
She says there were no findings in the report that the animal was injured before the collision.
Speegle says charges will not be pursued in the case, because the ship strike was unintentional and there was no evidence of a violation.

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