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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 03/15/2010

Whale beached in Ocean City

By Washington Post editors

Updated, 3:15 p.m. Officials with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said a 27-foot long, female humpback whale washed up in Ocean City on Saturday. Private citizens spotted the whale and called authorities to report an animal in distress.

Jamie Schofield, coordinator with the sea turtle and marine mammal stranding team at DNR, said the 20,000 pound whale showed signs of being struck by a ship and had some internal hemorrhaging. Tissue samples have been taken from the whale to determine its cause of death.

Schofield said that humpback whale sightings are common during this time of year. Though more thorough studies are underway, scientists believe the whales pass through the mid-Atlantic on their way to feed in the north or spawn in the south, Schofield said.

In March 2009, another humpback whale approximately the same size washed up near Assateague, Schofield said. However, that whale's body was so badly decomposed that it was difficult to determine its cause of death.

Schofield said if members of the public spot sea turtles or other marine mammals in distress, they should called DNR's hotline at 1-800-628-9944.

Original post, 11:15 a.m.

A whale about 20 feet long was found dead near Fourth Street in Ocean City, WUSA reported.

According to officials in Ocean City, the creature appeared to be a humpback whale. Biologists with the Baltimore Aquarium Maryland Department of Natural Resources are set to examine the whale.

By Washington Post editors  | March 15, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
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Posted by: steampunk | March 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Is anyone here a marine biologist?!"

Posted by: 123cartoon | March 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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