Whale carcass near Kincaid Park attracts the curious

Published: Jul. 8, 2016 at 3:55 PM AKDT
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A dead whale that first washed up near Hope last week that recently appeared near Kincaid Park has attracted many visitors hoping to get a glimpse.

Amy Conklin, one resident willing to make the trek down a steep bluff, said the rare sight was worth the hike.

"We thought it was pretty amazing; it's kind of a one in a lifetime once in a lifetime experience," Conklin said.

Marine mammal biologist Mandy Migura said a biologist previously collected samples of the humpback whale when it was near Hope, but the results of the necropsy haven't been made available yet.

Migura said there are no plans to move the carcass.

"At this point, given its size and the area that it's in, we're just gonna have to wait for the tides to come in high enough to wash it back out," Migura said.

Migura said experts contacted University of Alaska Fairbanks to see if it's interested in retrieving some of the bones for its collection.

"If the environmental conditions persist so that the animal's carcass remains, that might be something that is attempted in the future," Migura said.

So far this year across Alaska, about 50 dead whales have washed up along the shorelines which biologists say is a typical number.

Experts advise observers to use caution and keep a safe distance away from the whale because it's unknown whether the whale died from a disease or another reason.

The carcass can also attract bears to the area, Migura said.