Friday, April 19, 2024

Officials conduct necropsy on dead whale in Virginia Beach but cause of death may be unknown for some time

A humpback whale was brought to shore near the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier Sunday. (Courtesy of Jeremy Trotter)
A humpback whale was brought to shore near the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier Sunday. (Courtesy of Jeremy Trotter)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A necropsy was performed Monday on a humpback whale that was brought to shore Sunday near the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center spokesman Matt Klepeisz said Monday afternoon that the whale’s cause of death was unclear and could remain so for some time.

“After talking with some of our stranded response folks, they seem to think that there’s a pretty real possibility we may not have any kind of firm answer about a cause of death at least for a little while until some of the samples that we take get back,” Klepeisz said.

The female whale found Sunday is at least 2 years old and weighs around 6 tons.

According to Klepeisz, now is the time to expect to see whales in the area and there’s always the possibility of injuries or death.

“That’s just the nature of having an animal in the area,” he said. “As the population increases so does the potential for interaction.”

This is the first dead whale spotted in Virginia Beach since a surge of strandings in February.

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