PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (AP) — A dead humpback whale found on a beach at the tip of Cape Cod showed signs of "chronic entanglement," according to marine mammal experts.
The whale, described as a 30-foot long sub-adult of undetermined gender, was first spotted opposite Long Point Light in Provincetown.
A six-person team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare performed a necropsy on the whale on Tuesday and found that it was emaciated and had no food in its stomach, findings that are consistent with a chronic entanglement, the organization said on social media.
Researchers at the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies are working to identify the animal.
Samples from the necropsy are being sent out for further analysis to determine the exact cause of death, and the whale's carcass will be allowed to remain on the beach to decompose naturally, researchers said.
"While we aim to thoroughly examine every whale case that washes up on shore, cases like this one are a strong reminder of how important this work is to determine how we as humans impact these animals," the IFAW said.