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Whale's tale: What really happened in Rye

EDITORIAL
September 23. 2018 10:05PM




A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes a video fails to tell the whole story.

Last week, a 16-foot juvenile minke whale washed up dead on Jenness State Beach in Rye. Federal, state, and local officials jumped into action, working with the Seacoast Science Center and New England Aquarium to remove the animal, and to try to find out how it died.

Our correspondent, Jason Schreiber, was on hand to witness the effort to move the whale, and shared a short video of an unsuccessful attempt to lower the carcass into a too-small dumpster.

Unfortunately, the video spread further and faster than the story behind it. People who knew nothing except what they saw in the 17-second video were furious that New Hampshire was trying to dump a dead whale in a dumpster. They should not have been.

It was an awkward but well-intentioned attempt to move the whale to a site where it could be studied.

Tony LaCasse of the New England Aquarium today explains some of the challenges of dealing with beached whales.

Because so many people came together to tackle a challenge, we may learn more about how this whale died, which will help us protect these mighty creatures living off our coasts.


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