A whale graffiti incident has upset many residents in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the national office of the fraternity associated with the Greek letters called the tagging a “reprehensible act,” the Press of Atlantic City said on their website yesterday. The whale graffiti on the rotting carcass of the animal was discovered Thursday morning on a beach under Central Pier. The incident shocked those who saw the tagged dead whale.
A statement issued by Tau Epsilon Phi regarding the incident read: "While we don’t know if any of our members were involved, we have been in contact with the authorities and have offered our assistance in their investigations. This act is in direct contradiction with our mission statement and our teachings of friendship, chivalry and service, and we wholeheartedly condemn it.”
According to the Atlantic City police, the graffiti was written in large purple symbols and it corresponds to the Greek letters Tau Epsilon Phi, a fraternity established in the three universities nearby and whose headquarters are located in Voorhees New Jersey. The number "94" was also painted.
The minke whale is said to have been between 12 to 15 feet long, according to the police report. A state pathologist is currently conducting the necessary investigations to determine the cause of death and then the animal will be buried on the beach.
According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the whale had been dead for "several days" when it was found Thursday. As mentioned above, the cause of death is not known and it showed no signs of trauma. A 5 foot long common dolphin was also found washed up next to the whale.
It seems as though business owners near the beach seem more concerned that the animal will be buried nearby more so than the whale graffiti incident itself. They are afraid that the smell will be unbearable during the summer. They can rest assured that the situation could be worse: the whale could threaten to explode, for instance.
Authorities with the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement as well as Atlantic City police are actively investigating the whale graffiti case and they are asking anyone with information to call the NOAA Fisheries office in Marmora at 609-390-8303. An attorney representing Tau Epsilon Phi announced that the fraternity is also conducting its own investigation.
The whale graffiti incident comes just days after experts warned residents in the Canadian town of Trout River in Newfoundland that the flammable gases building up inside a washed up 81-foot blue whale could explode at any given moment. CNN reports that the explosion would be a violent one and tons of foul, flying whale blubber could threaten the town’s 600 residents.