DFO investigating severed porpoise tail that washed up in Victoria

DFO investigating severed porpoise tail that washed up in Victoria
Kristin Spray
The severed tail is pictured.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is investigating after a local woman made a grisly discovery along Dallas Road in Victoria.

CHEK viewer Kristin Spray captured videos and photos of a severed harbour porpoise tail washed up along the beach on Thursday.

The DFO says it’s now planning to send a response team to retrieve the missing tail and find out what happened to the animal.

The leading theories are that the tail belonged to a harbour porpoise that was injured in a propeller strike or by a bigg’s killer whale.

“We’re going to look at it in detail and we’ll send those pictures to a couple other experts to get their thoughts,” said Paul Cottrell with the DFO’s Marine Mammal Response.

“It’s pretty tough to tell if it’s a predation event or a prop strike. I’m leaning more towards a prop strike,” he told CHEK News on Friday.

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(Kristin Spray)

Cottrell encourages anyone who sees injured marine life to contact the DFO Pacific Marine Mammal Response Network (Observe, Record, Report) at 1-800-465-4336.

“It’s so important for folks to call these in when they see it, because the more fresh that specimen is, the easier it is for us to tell what happened,” he said.

Harbour porpoises are considered a species at risk, an umbrella term given to all threatened, endangered or extirpated animals in Canada.

SEE ALSO: Vancouver Island-based marine zoologist helps monitor endangered porpoise near Mexico


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