Dead porpoise outside Blekinge was pregnant
A dead porpoise was found in the Blekinge archipelago in August. When the unusual find is now examined, it turns out that the cause of death is still unclear – and that it was a pregnant female, reports Blekinge county newspaper.
– She was pregnant with an almost full-term fetus, which is very exciting and interesting because we know so little about reproduction in porpoises, says Elina Thorsson, game veterinarian at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, to the newspaper.
The condition of the deceased animal was poor as it had been in water for a long time, which contributed to the fact that the cause of death is difficult to determine.
There are only about 500 of the critically endangered Baltic right whale, one of the world’s smallest whales. The porpoises around Sweden are divided into three distinct populations. The Baltic Sea population is genetically distinct from the porpoises that live in the North Sea. The stock in the Baltic Sea is classified as acutely threatened.
One of the main threats is fishing, where porpoises get caught as bycatch in nets. Other threats are underwater noise, environmental toxins, changes in the ecosystem and reduced prey availability.