Ziphius cavirostris strand (#2) at Muri Beach, Rarotonga Cook islands

Another rare beaked whale came over the reef a few days after we successfully rescued the first one. This one was found washed up dead in the reef between Motutapu Onearo. Marisa and Gracie waded out to the lagoon to the whale and collected complete measurements with skin samples! What a wonderful job they did! Hayes and I met them out there and we all wandered back together as Hayes droned the whale and lagoon for the National Geographic special. A few days later the volunteer veterinarians helped Gracie and I necropsy the whale. It was starting to decay and the smell was atrocious. The crew from Te Ara Manu were amazing and thank goodness they were there. I had started a new medication for my CRPS that day and was feeling like a total space cadet. Just in the knick of time to catch the tide Elise and Jesse showed up and finished removing the head. They floated it to Avana Harbor where we had to wave down the crew of the Vaka to come help us lift it into the truck. They were all smiles until they saw all the blood and the blubber, but they were good sports. Off i headed in the truck towards the valley. At arrival to the valley I realized that I needed to get this head out of the truck by myself. i layer on  my back and pushed with both feet until it slip easily off the tailgate. All was fine until a storm came a couple days later. I was raining so hard that i went to make sure that the head was okay…but it wasn’t it had started to float down the river. I ran up to the house putting on operating room scrubs and a raincoat. Breanna accompanied me and i jumped in the stream as she watched with the headlights from the truck. The head had floated way down stream and I heard onto it as hard as I possibly could, trying not to damage my newly operated on right shoulder. Soon the water came over the bridge