Humpback whale stranded on Wallops Island

Humpback whale stranded on Wallops Island

Credit: Va. Aquarium

The 30-40 foot long humpback whale had to be euthanized.

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Associated Press & WVEC.com

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 4:31 PM

WALLOPS ISLAND (AP) -- A humpback whale found stranded on the Eastern Shore of Virginia Thursday had to be euthanized.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach says the juvenile whale was spotted on a secluded section of Wallops Island around 8:00 a.m. Wednesday.

The whale was severely injured by a ship strike and could not have survived its injuries, Va. Aquarium spokeswoman Linda Candler told WVEC.com.

A stranding response team got to the site around 12:30 p.m., but aquarium officials say a television helicopter flying overhead was putting the whale under stress and preventing the team from getting to the whale.

The team will return to the beach Thursday morning to take blood samples to see if they can determine why it becane stranged.

Candler says the team responds to one or two whale strandings a year, usually in remote locations. "As sad as it is, every stranding is an opportunity to learn more about these creatures," she added.

AP-WF-09-26-12 1908GMT

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