Agency warns people, pets to stay away from dead humpback

Beached humpback whale at Kincaid Park. Anchorage, Alaska.

ANCHORAGE — A federal agency is warning the public to stay away from a dead humpback whale washed onto an Anchorage beach.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says marine mammals can transmit disease to humans and pets and the carcass could attract bears.

The carcass is on a Kincaid Park beach. It’s the same dead sub-adult whale spotted two weeks ago floating in Knik Arm. NOAA Fisheries had attached an orange buoy to its pectoral flipper.

The agency plans to collect samples and is making plans to perform a necropsy.
No parts of a marine mammal listed under the Endangered Species Act can be collected except for authorized scientific purposes.

The agency will conduct genetic tests to determine if the dead whale is from the endangered Western North Pacific population.