Humpback whale found dead on beach in Hatteras Island

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
A dead humpback whale was found on a beach near the end of Hatteras Island, Monday, December 14, 2015.
National Park Service

HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. -- A humpback whale has been found dead on a beach near the end of Hatteras Island.

National Park Service spokeswoman Cyndy Holda tells the Virginian-Pilot ( that the juvenile male was found Monday and is 33 feet long.

Holda says staffers from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are conducting a necropsy on the carcass to determine cause of death. The whale will be buried in parts on the beach.

The animal showed no outward signs of trauma. Holda says the biologists took samples to test for toxins.

Marine biologist Karen Clark says humpback whales migrate south from New England to the south Atlantic this time of year. Juveniles often linger off the Outer Banks coast to eat.