KLC 053 False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens)

false killer whale strands at Nags Head, NC

Sept. 5th - A live, adult false killer whale stranded
itself on Nags Head, NC.

This very rare animal in the NC stranding records stranded alive on the morning of September 5 on Nags Head. A team of responders on the Outer Banks first responded to the adult female, where the animal succumbed to death on the beach. A team from UNCW arrived at Nags Head to help conduct a necropsy.

Signs of previous interactions with longline was present on its dorsal fin and mouth. The gross appearance of the enlarged lymph nodes and adrenals suggest an active systemic illness. A moderate parasite load was found throughout the esophagus and stomach chambers, with no evidence of food in any of the stomachs. Observed heart lesions will be further investigated on the microscopic level. The final cause of death could not be determined on gross and awaits results from histopathology.

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