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Dead juvenile humpback found near Bethany Beach

Suzanne Thurman
Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute
Humpback whale found near Bethany Beach


A beached humpback whale was buried near Bethany Beach after washing up there this past Friday.

The whale appears to have suffered blunt force trauma, indicating it may have been hit by a boat.

The Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute is testing the whale’s organs to ensure it didn’t die from disease or bio-toxins.  

Whales are susceptible to many of the same diseases as humans. A positive test for toxins may raise concerns about water quality in the area.

The 33-foot humpback whale was found Friday morning by community members in the area north of Bethany Beach. Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control buried the whale on the beach Saturday morning.

The whale is estimated to be a young male, around 2 years old, weighing 33,000 pounds.  

Humpback whales are endangered. They can live up to 50 years and weigh more than 80,000 pounds.