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Necropsy complete on second whale that washed ashore in Virginia Beach

Crystal Graham
right whale
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The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center stranding response team has successfully completed a necropsy on a whale found on Monday, March 4, at False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach.

It was the second immature male whale that washed ashore in Virginia Beach in two days.

The cause of death of both whales is unknown at this point.

The False Cape whale measured 27 feet in length and weighed approximately 21,800 pounds.

The first whale that washed ashore at the Oceanfront near 25th Street measured 32 feet in length and weighed approximately 32,000 pounds.

Necropsies are now complete on both of the juvenile humpback whales. The in-field assessments have been completed as well as internal and external exams.

Tissue samples for life history and diagnostics were collected from both whales.

The team will analyze the samples, photos and data they collected to try to determine the cause of death.

The whales had some abnormal skin lesions that the team is continuing to investigate, and both whales showed evidence of healed scars from previous entanglements.

“The entanglement scars are an important reminder that we share the ocean, and our activities can impact the ocean environment and its inhabitants,” the statement read.

Both animals have been buried.

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Two deceased whales, two days: First necropsy complete; mammal buried deep in sand

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.