Whale necropsy reveals intestinal obstruction

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Associated Press

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 6:43 AM

PORTSMOUTH (AP) - Researchers say a whale that died in the Elizabeth River had ingested a piece of plastic that perhaps prevented it from eating.

 

A necropsy performed Friday also found a large hematoma suggesting the 45-foot juvenile female sei whale might have been hit by a ship shortly before dying the previous day.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center's stranding response coordinator Sue Barco says the rigid piece of plastic measuring about 3 inches by 5 inches was stuck in the whale's stomach chamber and could not pass into its intestines. The whale was thin, and no food was found in its stomach.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Barco also noticed the hematoma.

Tissue and blood samples might yield more information. The whale will be buried on Craney Island.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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