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Deeply sick humpback whale spotted off Kauai

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:58 a.m. HST, Feb 8, 2011


LIHUE — A deeply sick humpback whale has been spotted off Kauai. 

Flight instructor Gerry Charlebois says the 50-foot-long whale was "bent in half" and appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma to the side. 

The owner of the Birds in Paradise Flight School told The Garden Island newspaper Monday it was one of the most disturbing sights he's ever seen while photographing whales. 

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary whale rescue expert Ed Lyman says it's not clear if the whale has a broken back. 

After looking at Charlebois' photos, Lyman says the whale was injured between its dorsal fin and tail.

He noted the whale was light-colored, emaciated and had begun to slough-off skin, and was surrounded by large numbers whale lice. These are all indicators of poor health.

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