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Sperm Whale Post Mortem

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Veterinarian Dr. Duan March and Wildlife Officer Kieran Marshall assisted government agencies to conduct a post mortem of an adult male sperm whale, which was found dead on the beach at south Ballina. This large male was 16.9m long and over 52 tonnes in weight.

No plastic was found in the stomach of the sperm whale, nor was there any sign of predation from sharks. The animal appeared to be in good body conditon, so whatever caused it to become unwell was likely an acute process. Samples were taken to test for toxicology and hopefully we provide more information on the death of this whale.

Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales and largest toothed predator and it is rare for these pelagic mammals to strand.

They get their name from its spermaceti (sperm oil), was a prime target of the whaling industry that was sought after for use in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles.

If you see any marine mammals in distress call your local National Parks office.

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