A 5-meter-long (16-feet-long) whale that washed ashore in Antalya's Kemer district will be removed from the spot where it was to be buried and be exhibited at the Museum of Marine Biology in Akdeniz University Faculty of Aquaculture.
The whale, which washed ashore in the Çamyuva neighborhood, was taken to a truck with a lifting crane by the Kemer Municipality team and brought to the faculty.
A 7-meter-deep hole was prepared in an empty area inside the campus and the whale was put next to the hole via crane where an autopsy was conducted by Faculty of Aquaculture Dean Mehmet Cengiz Deval, and an animal clinic serving the Turkish Marine Research Foundation.
During the autopsy, they took samples from the animal to be examined. The bones of the animal, which will be buried, will be exhibited in the Museum of Marine Biology in one-and-a-half years.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Deval said it was a bottlenose whale, a rare species. Noting that the animal is female, Deval said: "Normally, these animals do not swim near the shore. Whales of this kind do not swim in waters with a depth of less than 200 meters. They live underwater at a depth of 200 to 1,000 meters. Female bottlenose whales can potentially reach up to 7 meters in length, while males can reach up to 7.5 meters in length."
"These whales are members of a rare species for Turkish inland waters. In the last 10 years, we have received 30 announcements of whales of this kind in the Mediterranean. The most prominent agent affecting these animals life negatively are military actions conducted on the sea. There may be whale deaths as a result of nutrition and fishery activities. During the autopsy we detected that the animal died three days ago. Normally, it takes 10 days for a whale to wash ashore. However, the process decreased to three days due to the harsh weather conditions," he added and noted that they will exhibit the skeleton of the animal at the museum and use it to train students of the faculty.
One of the academics of the faculty, Professor Mehmet Gökoğlu said the skeleton of the whale is really valuable as visual material for classes.
Explaining that these whales enter Mediterranean waters via the Atlantic Ocean, Gökoğlu said: "These whales are mostly seen in west and central Mediterranean, especially on the shores of Spain and France. Sometimes, they pass through the eastern Mediterranean ecosystem. They generally swim in groups of five or six, and some may leave the group. They may lose their route and have difficulty finding food. These whales normally eat squid, calamari and devilfish. They follow shoals of calamari and may die due to starvation and becoming weak."
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