To the People

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Illegal: Taking a Tooth from a Dead Whale

I just learned it's illegal to try to perform a root canal on a dead whale.
U.S. authorities are looking into accusations a University of California, Santa Barbara, student tried to illegally remove the teeth from a dead sperm whale.

Shane Anderson, supervisor of marine operations at the University of California-Santa Barbara Marine Laboratory, said he spotted a student trying to remove the teeth from the beached whale in Isla Vista, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"I arrived and this guy had a hammer and was hammering away on the teeth," Anderson said. "I explained to him that there was a federal law against doing that and that the specimen was important for science. He didn't want to hear it."

Anderson said the student became so verbally abusing toward him that he was arrested by a Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputy and cited him for public disturbance. The student was released at the scene, the newspaper said.

"It's illegal for someone to go and yank the tooth out of a dead marine mammal," Roxanna Behtash, a special agent with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is investigating the incident, told the Times. "It's illegal to possess or sell marine mammal parts of any kind, unless you have a permit."
Nothing more here.

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