Posted by: The ocean update | December 15, 2015

Humpback whale found dead on beach in Hatteras Island (North Carolina, USA)

National Park Service

National Park Service

December 15th, 2015 (Jeff Hampton). A humpback whale was found dead on the beach Monday near the end of Hatteras Island.

The juvenile male is approximately 33 feet long, said Cyndy Holda, spokeswoman for the National Park Service.

Staffers from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are conducting a necropsy on the carcass to determine cause of death, she said. The whale will be buried in parts on the beach.

The whale showed no outward signs of trauma. The biologists took samples to test for toxins, she said (Ed Sibylline : and what about a necropsy ?).

Humpback whales migrate south from New England to the south Atlantic this time of year, said Karen Clark, a biologist with the commission and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Juveniles often linger off the Outer Banks coast to eat.

The whales travel down the Gulf Stream, and typically about two a year come ashore along the Outer Banks, she said. A humpback was found dead in February on the beach in Corolla.

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