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Whale carcass washes ashore near Kauai resort

DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island
                                A beachgoer stands behind cautionary tape on Friday while trying to get a photo of the whale carcass that washed ashore near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort.
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DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island

A beachgoer stands behind cautionary tape on Friday while trying to get a photo of the whale carcass that washed ashore near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort.

DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island
                                A portion of a whale carcass washed onto a reef at the beachfront near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort on Thursday evening.
2/2
Swipe or click to see more

DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island

A portion of a whale carcass washed onto a reef at the beachfront near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort on Thursday evening.

DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island
                                A beachgoer stands behind cautionary tape on Friday while trying to get a photo of the whale carcass that washed ashore near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort.
DENNIS FUJIMOTO / The Garden Island
                                A portion of a whale carcass washed onto a reef at the beachfront near the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort on Thursday evening.

WAIPOULI, Kauai >> Shark warning signs were posted along the beach fronting the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort Friday after a portion of a whale carcass came ashore on the reef Thursday evening.

Officials were asking people to stay out of the water in the immediate area the carcass due to sharks roaming the area.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Angela Honora, of the Tropic Care Kauai group, said on Friday that sharks were sighted in the water near the beach fronting the resort north of Lihue.

Representatives from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources established a safety perimeter Friday with the help of officials from the Division of Aquatic Resources,band the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, as well as cultural practitioner Billy Kinney of the Kaia‘i Kanaloa organization.

Observers said the carcass is believed to be the head of a sperm whale.

Jean Souza, of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary, said the responsibility for disposing of the beached carcass falls with NOAA Fisheries, the landowner and the cultural practitioner.

She said this is not the first sperm whale to come ashore in the area.

A 56-foot male sperm whale beached itself at nearby Lydgate Park south end in 2023. The whale later died, and a necropsy determined its death was caused by an obstruction in its intestines by marine debris.

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