A whale that found its way into a Carteret County marina early Saturday morning was later found washed up on the beach dead.
According to Dr. Vicky Thayer, the Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator for North Carolina, the dwarf sperm whale was six to seven feet and 320 pounds. They believe the whale was a juvenile.
Thayer says the whale was first spotted around 4:30 a.m. Saturday in the marina, they were hoping the whale would find its way back to its habitat, but unfortunately it did die.
Thayer, along with a team of volunteers, says the whale had no major external injuries, but the team is taking samples to see if there were any internal problems. Thayer says usually it means there is something wrong with the whale, which led to it being stranded. She says they find around half a dozen beach whales a year in the area.
Thayer has been working alongside volunteers with NC State, NC Maritime Museum, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The video is courtesy of Keith Rittmaster of NC Maritime Museum and NC Marine Mammal Stranding Network.