Triomphe, a humpback whale born off the Dominican Republic, was found dead recently on a Little Cranberry Island beach. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIN FERNALD

Humpback carcass identified

CRANBERRY ISLES — A dead humpback whale was found by the Fernald family on Christmas Day on a Little Cranberry Island beach near the old Coast Guard station.

“It looked pretty scratched up from being washed over the rocks to the beach,” Barbara Fernald said. “One of my sons measured the length to be roughly 35 feet. It was upside down, which gave us a chance to see the ventral grooves. It was sad to see the whale so obviously dead on the beach, but also fascinating to see something so big close up.” They noticed that there was no rope on the carcass.

Islesford lobsterman Stefanie Alley called the Allied Whale marine mammal stranding hotline at College of the Atlantic on Dec. 26 to let them know the carcass was there. “Since it was day after Christmas, they couldn’t find someone to come out,” she said. I volunteered to get a sample, so I got gloves, my Leatherman and a tape measure.” She met an Allied Whale staffer in Bar Harbor to hand off the sample.

Allied Whale stranding response coordinator Rosemary Seton said in an email that the seven-year-old adult male humpback is known to the group. His name is “Triomphe.” He was born in 2008 in waters off the Dominican Republic to a whale named “Star,” she said. They hope to send a crew member to examine the whale this week.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.