Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Make a gift to NHPR and have a Valentine's message to a loved one read on air!

Cause Of Rye Whale Death Under Investigation

Elizabeth Szelog for NHPR

Biologists have begun investigating what killed an 18-year-old humpback whale that washed ashore in New Hampshire.

New England Aquarium spokesman Tony Lacasse tells The Portsmouth Herald the reason the whale named Snow Plow died remained a mystery as of Wednesday.

Fishermen had reported seeing the whale's corpse floating 20 miles out to sea on Sunday. Officials believe she had been dead for several days before washing ashore near the town of Rye.

State Department of Transportation workers built makeshift roads down to the beach and used their equipment to remove parts of the 45-foot mammal.

It took several hours to cut through the whale's layers. The whale's bones will likely be reconstructed and used for research and education. The whale blubber will be turned into compost and fertilizer.

Related Content
  • From "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours"
    New Monument To Capt. John Smith To Be Dedicated In Rye
    This year marks the 400th anniversary of Capt. John Smith's voyage and mapping of New England, and the dedication of a new monument to him in Rye, New…
  • 3858225408_22ee2d2d64_z.jpg
    Judge: Public Can Use Private Land To Access Rye Beach
    A judge has ruled that the public can use private land to get to Rye Beach because they've been doing so for more than 20 years.The case was brought by…
  • A state health official says the state is monitoring after a study found a cluster of cases of a rare form of a pediatric cancer in southeastern New…
  • Authorities have identified a 45-foot dead whale that washed onto rocks near Rye State Park as an 18-year-old female named Snow Plow.The Portsmouth Herald…