A dead porpoise was found Sunday after it washed ashore in McNeil Bay, in the District of Oak Bay.
Oak Bay Public Works removed the cetacean the same afternoon after Oak Bay fire notified Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It was lying near the stairs by Monterey Avenue
Dr. Annah Hall is a Marine Biologist from the Porpoise Conservation Society and says it looks like there is nothing to be immediately concerned about.
“From the pictures, it looks like a full grown adult female harbour porpoise, possibly pregnant, in excellent condition,” said Dr. Hall. “The cause of death is totally undetermined, we would have to conduct a necropsy or I would have to be there in person… but looks like the animal died at sea and came in on the tide.”
She adds the abrasions on the fins pictured are common due to the rocky shorelines of B.C.’s coast.
“[Porpoises washing ashore] do occur throughout the year, we tend to get more of them in the spring or summer,” she said. “Perhaps there is some internal metabolic process that has taken place or something to do with reproduction, or maybe there is something on the other side of the body we cant see.”
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says that unless there are signs of human interaction or other trauma, they suggest leaving marine life to naturally decompose after reporting it to officials.
Oak Bay fire said they had it removed in conjunction with policies in the district to not leave out dead wildlife or marine life. They also had concerns about pets and children on the beach interacting with the carcass.
Officials ask anyone who comes across distressed or deceased marine life to call the B.C. Marine Mammal Response Network at 1-800-465-4336.