A humpback whale found dead in the water this week appears to be entangled in some kind of rope.
The animal – a female called Peajack – was spotted off the coast of Nova Scotia on Friday.
The whale watcher who spotted her reported the sighting to the local Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) – the organization now searching for Peajack to determine the cause of her death.
Shelley Lonergan, Chief Naturalist with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, said Peajack stood out, as a particularly social and curious animal.
She added that ‘she became kind of special to everyone in the whale watching community’.
Peajack is the third humpback reported dead to MARS this year.
Many whales die due to starvation or fishing gear entanglement.
Lonergan, who says she’s seen a number of unusually ‘skinny’ whales of late, said: “These whales, there’s just so much against them.
“When you see a dead humpback on the Bay of Fundy, it just hits home that these whales are in trouble. Every species of whale.”
Those near the west coast of Canada are apparently no exception.
Mother orca Tahlequah mourned the loss of her calf for over two weeks this summer – capturing much of the world’s attention with the tragic, highly publicized display of grief.
Tahlequah has lost three calfs since 2010, all as a result of salmon shortages.