2007_03_sludgie4.jpgThe Daily News reports that the cause of death is still unknown for a young minke whale that made its way to Brooklyn's Gowanus Bay. But the necropsy confirmed that the whale was a young female and that there were no signs of significant trauma. Now tissue samples of the whale will be sent to pathologists to conduct more tests.

And someone at the Army Corps of Engineers emailed us to dispute what we wrote yesterday:

Your account of the baby whale and Army Corps of Engineers contains an error iin fact. We didn't tie the knot that you imply we did. We were called in to retrieve it after the fact. The baby whale had a small rope tied to its tail when we arrived and we questioned that rope and the knot that was tied to it. To further report and compare this to Intrepid appears to be something that you choose to spin.. I happen to be a Corps of Engineers employee that lives by Gowanus and witnessed this whale's retrieval. It was treated more respectfully then dubbing it "Sludgie".. When it was only looking for its mother.

We guess we read this sentence from Newsday - "The first attempt a few hours earlier by the Army Corps of Engineers failed when a rope tied around the whale's tail loosened and the mammal plunged to the depths of the harbor, 30 feet below" - wrong. (The whale was tied to a pier overnight - we suppose that knot was faulty?) At any rate, we apologize to the Army Corps of Engineers if they feel disrespected - we were certainly impressed with what they did with the Intrepid. And we definitely don't mean to disrespect the whale - Sludgie is a term of affection in these parts and we wish she were still alive.

Photograph of Sludgie by Dima Gavrysh/AP