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Scientists curious about beached whale

Nov. 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM   |   Comments

HAMPTON, Va., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A Virginia Aquarium spokeswoman said scientists are set to investigate how a beaked whale became beached in Hampton, Va.

Aquarium spokeswoman Joan Barns said it is rare for a beaked whale to become beached in Virginia's Hampton Roads area, therefore a necropsy was scheduled on the animal's remains, the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press said Sunday.

"It is somewhat of an unusual species to be beached here, stranded here," Barns said. "They don't normally strand in this area."

The 14-foot-long whale was found Sunday on Buckroe Beach and transported to the Virginia Aquarium's Marine Animal Care Center in Virginia Beach.

The discovery of the whale drew the interest of scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Barns told the Daily Press said fin or humpback whales are more likely to become beached in Virginia, such as the 10-ton juvenile humpback whale found last September in Gloucester Point, Va.

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