(Bryde's whale; Image: NOAA, Sophie Webb)
Bryde's whales can weigh up to 55,000 pounds. They primarily feed on plankton, crustaceans and fish, which they catch by surface skimming, lunging and by use of bubble nets. Although not historically targeted by hunters, Bryde's whales are killed through Japan's "scientific whaling program," which has been criticized by Greenpeace and other organizations.
The sad fate of this whale probably began when it was likely entangled, either intentionally or as bycatch, in fishing ropes. Given its weight and size, the whale could not be hauled in, so it wound up floating ashore, where its decaying body is now releasing a horrible stench but still attracting onlookers.
Baker concluded, "We all hope somebody collects the bones and a tissue sample for genetic analysis as recovery of whale carcasses is rare along the coast of China."
Image source: The Sun