RJM 009 Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
NC stranding coordinator, William McLellan, examines a pilot
whale along with Dr. Rommel and UNCW employee,
On May 15, 2009 the lab received a report of a live short-finned pilot whale in the surf on Figure 8 Island. During the beach response the animal died in the surf. The carcass was pulled out of the breakers using a front end loader provided by Figure 8 Island. The necropsy commenced immediately. An internal exam revealed a heavy parasite load throughout multiple body systems. Final determination of the cause of death is pending further findings in the pathology report.