LEWES, Del. (AP) — Scientists are trying to determine what killed the juvenile female humpback whale that washed ashore over the weekend in Sussex County.
Suzanne Thurman with the Marine Education, Rehabilitation and Research Institute tells news outlets the whale is the sixth to wash ashore in Delaware since 2016. The whale was first spotted in Cape May, New Jersey, on Saturday, before it washed ashore at Cape Henlopen State Park on Sunday.
Thurman says the 36-foot-long whale was hit by a boat and scavenged by sharks. It’s unclear whether the former happened before or after she died. Thurman says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said humpback whales as dying at an unusual rate on the East Coast.
The whale was hauled to higher ground on Monday, and a preliminary necropsy was conducted.
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