Amazon dead whale baffles scientists
MYSTERY swirls around how a humpback whale wound up dead in the Amazon jungle miles from its natural habitat.
Scientists rushed to find the carcass of the massive mammal, which reports estimated at 11 metres long and six metres wide, after videos of the unfortunate creature appeared online.
The grisly discovery was made on Friday, and investigators were initially stumped because the animal didn't appear to have any wounds.
According to a video of the discovery posted online, the animal was found after vultures were seen flying above.
A group of ten biologists from the NGO Bicho D'agua raced to the scene to discover how the creature found itself stranded so far from the water, according to O Tempo Brasil.
The position of the whale is even stranger because it happened during the Amazonian winter, when freshwater rivers flood.
SEPARATED FROM ITS POD
Normally whales are only found in the Amazon Basin during the summer, when salt water penetrates rivers.
The Brazilian news outlet said the expert struggled to reach the carcass on the first attempt, and were in a race against time to dissect the animal and collect samples for analysis to work out how the creature wound up in the unlikely spot.
On the second attempt they were able to reach the animal, and found it resting 15 metres from the ocean, on the island of Marajo.
They discovered it was slightly smaller than initially estimated, but still an impressive eight metres long.
The whale was estimated to be roughly a year old, and it is theorised the animal lost its mother during a migration.
In a Facebook post, the NGO said they suspected the animal was a calf, and had become entangled in the mangroves after being flung ashore by high waves.
The Maritime Herald suggested the animal may have been killed by swallowing marine plastics, and then the body washed up on shore.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished with permission.