Klamath Wayward Mother Whale Died of Skin Infection

By TRT Staff Writer

Scientists have said the wayward whale that died last summer after swimming from the sea into the Klamath River and attracting hundreds of well-wishers suffered a fungal skin infection caused by the river’s fresh water.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the whale’s skin was weakened by her lengthy stay in the freshwater, which allowed the fungus to get into her body. The famous Klamath Whale “Ma Ma” garnered national media attention  when she entered the river with her calf on June 24. Three weeks later the calf made it back to the Pacific Ocean, but the mother whale stayed behind. Ma Ma died Aug. 16 and was buried along the river bank by members of the Yurok Tribe.

A recent report of a whale found dead in Oregon on Christmas Day was determined not to be the calf of the Klamath Whale, Ma Ma.


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December 25th, 2011


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