Hunters claim to have spotted a dead whale on the Knik River

Published: Sep. 17, 2017 at 6:28 PM AKDT
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Two hunters scouting for moose Saturday night say they spotted a dead whale floating on the Knik River.

Clint Tuma, a professional hunter, says he was out with friend Frank Pieper when they saw the whale floating around a mile downstream from the Knik River Bridge.

Tuma estimates the whale to be around 60 feet in length and bloated up to around 14 feet in diameter.

The lower part of the body appears to have decayed and some ribs are exposed, said Tuma.

Tuma said it’s not the first dead whale he’s seen but it is the first whale he’s spotted on the Knik River.

“It’s a long ways to wash in,” said Tuma.

Pieper says a friend has flown over the site and also says it appears to be a whale.

Sunday afternoon, Tuma has gone back on the water and says the whale is still floating on the Knik River and is headed with the tides toward the Knik River Bridge.

At 6 p.m., Tuma said he believes the whale could be visible from the bridge in an hour or so.

Tuma says he filmed the whale from 6.5 miles away with his phone through a scouting scope.

This latest sighting comes less than two months after a

was spotted swimming passed Ship Creek in the Cook Inlet.

KTUU reached out to NOAA for comment, they have not immediately responded.