LEWES, Del. (AP) — A 50-foot endangered fin whale found stranded along the Delaware coast has died, officials said.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said in a Facebook post Friday that scientists were taking measurements and samples of the whale, which would then be buried in a trench on the beach.
The whale first showed up in Lewes on Thursday, stranded on a sandbar, news outlets reported. It was able to swim back out to sea but later became beached on the ocean side of The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
The whale had one visible injury, a gash next to its dorsal fin, the Daily Times of Salisbury reported.
“There could be so many reasons as to why a whale decides to strand itself,” Rob Rector, a board member of the nonprofit Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, told the newspaper. “It could be parasitic, could be a boat collision, could be sonic testing. ... Until an actual necropsy is performed, it’s difficult to guess.”