A beached humpback whale discovered dead several days ago in Jamestown is still lying on the rocks near the island’s southern coast. Scientists hoped to remove the whale's body Monday, but were unable due to the weather.
The massive marine mammal is within easy sight – and smell – of scientists and curious visitors. Park Ranger Colleen Karcik says people have been flocking to Beavertail State Park to see the animal.
“Some people are pretty heartbroken over it,” said Karcik. “It is a pretty sad sight. But a lot of people are just kind of excited to see such a cool animal you don’t really typically get to see like this, and be able to get so close to it.”
The smell of rotting fish is the first thing visitors notice as they get close to the remains of the young humpback whale, beached along the cliffs of the state park. Janet Potter, a North Kingstown resident, was one of many visitors awed by the 30-foot-long animal.
“How often can you get up this close to a whale? I mean it’s just unbelievable looking at it—it really is,” said Potter.
The whale was already dead when it washed up last week. Scientists from Mystic Aquarium took samples, which they hope will tell them how and why the animal died. The whale's remains will be towed out into the bay and sunk as soon as the tides and winds allow.