[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Wayward whale suffered skin infection


Wayward mother whale died of skin infection

The Associated Press
Posted: 12/29/2011 09:13:25 AM PST
Updated: 12/29/2011 09:13:26 AM PST

KLAMATH, Calif.—Scientists say the wayward gray whale that died last summer after swimming from the sea into the Klamath River and attracting hundreds of well-wishers suffered a fungal skin infection caused by the river's fresh water.
Sarah Wilkin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the Times-Standard of Eureka ( http://bit.ly/sxdYGH) that the mother whale's skin was weakened by her lengthy stay in the freshwater, which allowed the fungus to get into her body.
The whale, called "MaMa" by locals, garnered national media attention when she entered the river with her calf on June 24. Three weeks later, the calf made it back to the Pacific Ocean but the mother whale stayed behind.
MaMa died Aug. 16 and was buried by members of the Yurok Tribe along the riverbank.


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