Dead humpback whale found ashore at a Rhode Island beach

December 17, 2019 GMT

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A dead humpback whale has washed ashore at a Rhode Island beach.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said it received a report of a dead whale at the Charlestown Breachway on Sunday, according to The Providence Journal.

The 20-foot whale is expected to remain there until at least Wednesday, when a team from the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut plans to conduct a necropsy, weather permitting.

Michael Healey, spokesman for the environmental management department, said that while the death is sad, a large humpback whale with its blubber, tissues and organs seemingly intact “really is a gift to science.” The carcass showed no visible signs of injury.

A crew from the agency tried to move the body higher on the beach Monday morning, but stopped due to concerns about damaging the whale.

Many local residents went to the site on Monday to see it.

The results of the necropsy will be added to a federal database on marine mammal deaths.