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Dead whale found near Newport Pier thought to be well-known humpback ‘Scarlet’ – Orange County Register

Some whales simply pass by the Orange County coast, passing by nonchalantly on their annual migration or coming to feed on abundant krill, then disappearing into the horizon.

Others like Scarlet leave their mark, making a big impact and forming bonds with whale-lovers who connect with the massive creature – especially one who had endured such hardship.

Scarlet, a 55-foot humpback whale found dead Thursday about two miles from Newport’s shore, was one of the most famous whales that frequented the area – thought to be a success story after she was able to escape from fishing gear wrapped around her pectoral fin and stuck in her mouth last year, an easily recognizable whale because of her crimson hue due to lice infestation caused by deteriorating health from the entanglement.

“It was just such a shock, it was so sad,” said Jessica Roame, a naturalist with American Cetacean Society who rushed out on a boat to identify the deceased whale before lifeguards hauled it away from the coastline….

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