Sep 20, 10:57 AM EDT

Minke whale found dead on mudflat on Virginia's Eastern Shore; expert says it might have become entangled by a rope or line


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Right Whales

WACHAPREAGUE, Va. (AP) -- A minke whale has been found dead on a mudflat on Virginia's Eastern Shore and officials say it might have become entangled by a rope or line.

Local news organizations report that the nearly 24-foot whale washed up along a grassy island Saturday outside Wachapreague, about 75 miles north of Norfolk.

Alexander Costidis, coordinator of the Virginia Aquarium's stranding response program, tells the Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/2ddKYmH ) the female whale had neck injuries indicating it had been entangled.

Costidis couldn't confirm Monday whether the whale's entanglement resulted in its death.

He says minke whales are not uncommon in these waters and about one or two get stranded each year along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts.

The American Cetacean Society says minke whales have narrow jaws and slender, streamlined bodies.

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