PORTSMOUTH, Va. (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.
Sue Barco, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s stranding response coordinator, said 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.
Media sources also say that Barco also noticed the hematoma.
Tissue and blood samples might yield more information. The whale will be buried on Craney Island.
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