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Sad News: Washed Up Humpback Whale in New Jersey Shore Died Due to Human Interaction

Sep 19, 2016 03:55 AM EDT
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An official necropsy report revealed that the humpback whale discovered in the shore of Sea Isle City died due to human interaction and was already dead when it ended up in the shore.

Previously, Nature World News reported the discovery of the carcass of a young humpback whale in Sea Isle City. Just before washing up to the shore, the body was first seen off the coast of Strathmere earlier in that day.

Officials from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center who were on the site last Friday noted that the young male whale, which weighs 20 tons and is around 33 feet long, has no indications or marks in its body to point out that it was killed by sharks or other marine predators.

Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of Marine Mammal Stranding Center, told Press of Atlantic City that it is more likely that the juvenile whale may have been sick or lost its mother.

However, necropsy revealed a scaring on the whale's body, suggesting that the whale was entangled in a commercial fishing line in some point. The injury from the entanglement might be excruciating making the large mammal unable to eat. The small amount of food found in its stomach proves that the whale was very emaciated, which the officials believe led to its death.

The whale is believed to be dead for four to five days before washing ashore in Sea Isle City. During this time, officials believe that the dead whale was hit by a ship. After the necropsy, the whale was properly buried by the center.

Entanglements have been considered to most prevalent cause of death of whales, following ship strikes. A recent study revealed that 85 percent of whale deaths between 2010 and 2015 was caused by entanglements, while ship strikes was reduced to 15 percent.

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