Maine scientists investigating death of Minke whale

Scientists in Maine are investigating the death of a 24-foot Minke whale that washed ashore over the weekend.

Marine Mammals of Maine Director Lynda Doughty tells WGME-TV the dead whale that was found in Old Orchard Beach on Sunday morning had previously been spotted floating in Casco Bay. Doughty says there's no obvious cause of death, but that samples were collected from the whale.

Warm weather and water temperatures accelerated the whale's decomposition.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Minke whale deaths along the Atlantic coast have increased since January 2017. The species are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, they're not listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Doughty says she's working with town officials to remove the whale.

___

Information from: WGME-TV, http://www.wgme.com