Necropsy on Charlestown beached whale delayed, expected mid-week

South County

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The remains of a large whale that washed ashore on East Beach in Charlestown over the weekend will remain there a few more days.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), staff members from the Parks Divison attempted to move the humpback whale to higher ground, but couldn’t do so without damaging the carcass.

“Whales are magnificent animals, this one is 20 feet long, we think its a juvenile. meaning not a fully mature adult, you’re probably talking about 15, 20 tons,” DEM Public Affairs officer Mike Healey said.

Instead, the DEM said scientists from Mystic Aquarium will perform a necropsy on the animal Wednesday before it’s buried.

“We coordinate with the team from Mystic, but they couldn’t assemble everyone they need to do the necropsy for Monday,” Healey said.

The DEM said the necropsy – which is performed to determine how the animal died – is important because there are no visible signs of injury or cause of mortality.

The spectacle of the majestic animal drew onlookers Sunday to the west side of the breach-way.

“It’s sad, its kind of sad to see a nice animal like that washed up like that,” South Kingstown resident Kathy Faella said.

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