Whale dies after it becomes stranded in Virginia creek

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by 13News Now

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 22, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 22 at 8:14 AM

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (13News Now) -- A 40-foot whale that's been swimming around in the Elizabeth River since last week has died.

Marine Patrol Police were with the Virginia Aquarium's Stranding Response Team Thursday to monitor the whale and found it motionless off St. Julien's Creek Annex in Portsmouth.  

The stranding team will tow the nearly 40-thousand pound mammal to a facility at Craney Island, where a necropsy will be performed Friday morning. 

On Wednesday, it was stuck on the bottom near the bridge; officials were hoping it would free itself at high tide and be able to swim to deeper water.

The whale was first spotted August 14th in the James River between the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and didn't seem to be in any distress, officials said.

The team said they hope the necropsy will help determine what caused it to leave the ocean and end up in the river.

 

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