bvi wildlife



Mysterious Whale Discovery in St. John Sets Stage for Unprecedented Research Opportunities

  • Staff Consortium
  • October 18, 2023

Written by: Sarah ChiChi Larsen and Nico Thomas (special submission by UVI Communication majors) ST. THOMAS/ST. JOHN — On Tuesday morning, October 17,  St. John locals discovered an unusual whale species. The sizeable dead animal was rescued and immediately brought to the University of the Virgin Islands for a necropsy. According to animal research experts, the purpose of a necropsy is typically to determine the cause of death or extent of disease. This involves a careful process of dissection, observation, interpretation, and documentation. While it is believed to be a Cuvier's Beaked Whale, the definitive confirmation awaits genetic analysis from tissue samples collected during the recovery process. Currently, personnel from the UVI, marine researchers, and students are working to collect tissue samples from the whale. UVI, well known for its Marine Biology Program, was contacted and promptly reached out to local and federal partners to ensure that all legal protocols were follow...