LIHUE, Hawaii (KITV4) -- The carcass of an adult sperm whale has washed up on an outer reef on Kauai’s north shore, prompting state and federal agencies to caution the public to the presence of sharks that will be drawn to the area for the feeding frenzy.
Officials with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) believe the whale died four of five days ago and floated to shore in a remote location off Pila’a Beach.
Experts say tiger sharks will likely be drawn to the area to feed on the carcass and high surf is expected in the area as well. Shark warning signs have been posted at the beach.
As the whale decomposes, officials also warn that oils and tissue from the whale are likely to wash ashore. Owners should keep dogs and other pets away from the material, so they do not eat it and get sick, officials said. Currents are moving toward the Kahili/Rock Quarry area, DAR said.
It is against the law to remove any body parts or bones from protected species, officials said.
The DLNR and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will continue to monitor the situation.
To report a live or dead stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, contact the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline: 1-888-256-9840.