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Dead whale found on Martha’s Vineyard

A 25-to-30 foot humpback whale was found dead on a private beach in Edgartown sometime Monday.Tom Boudreau

Researchers took a trip to Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday following a report of a dead humpback whale that apparently washed ashore earlier in the week.

Jennifer Goebel, a spokeswoman with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, said members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare went to a private property in Edgartown where a 25-to-30-foot humpback whale was found dead sometime Monday.

“Depending on the whale’s condition, they will conduct a partial or full necropsy,” she said in a telephone interview.

Goebel did not know how the whale died, its age, or whether the animal was a male or female.

More information, Goebel said, would be available after crews from IFAW examined the animal.


Goebel said NOAA is responsible for coordinating the marine mammal stranding network, the group of independent organizations that respond to these types of situations.

Officials from the nonprofit animal welfare fund did not immediately return a request for comment. A person who answered the phone at the Edgartown Harbormaster’s office did not have any information about the humpback whale found on the property.

This is the second time since July that a dead whale has been found on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard.

A whale, estimated between 50 and 60 feet long, washed up on South Beach in Edgartown July 4. The animal’s carcass was heavily decomposed, officials said at the time.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.