A sick melon-headed whale that has been navigating the near shore waters off Kailua Beach has died. NOAA Fishery officials checked on the whale Friday morning and determined that it had passed away.
There was a concern that the whale carcass could attract unwanted visitors to the waters off of Kailua Beach. Sharks were never spotted, but NOAA officials did fear that the carcass could attract them.
The whale was removed around noon Friday and sent to Hawaii Pacific University for a necropsy. NOAA and HPU say they will investigate all possible causes of death, including whether there was any sonar interference from RIMPAC exercises. They say that the most likely cause was sickness.