Dead endangered whale may have been hit by ship
Only a few hundred North Atlantic right whales still exist in the world
Researchers say preliminary findings show an endangered North Atlantic right whale may have been struck by a ship before the animal was found dead in Massachusetts waters.
Officials with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say bruising consistent with blunt trauma could be evidence of a ship strike.
The U.S. federal agency is urging vessels to keep a close watch for right whales, which often swim just below the water's surface and can be hard to see.
North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered; only a few hundred still exist in the world. In recent decades, a significant percentage of their deaths have come from being struck by ships or getting entangled in fishing nets.
In 2016, 71 cases of entangled whales were reported off the West Coast - the highest annual total since 1982: <a href="https://t.co/VIyyzSgjrk">https://t.co/VIyyzSgjrk</a> <a href="https://t.co/vL9I2zBZgP">pic.twitter.com/vL9I2zBZgP</a>—@NOAAFisheries
The eight-metre-long, one-year-old female was found dead in Cape Cod Bay on Thursday and towed to a harbour where it could be placed on a flatbed for transport. A final analysis is expected to take weeks.
With files from CBC News