BOURNE, Mass. (AP) — Researchers say preliminary findings show a North Atlantic right whale may have been struck by a ship before the animal was found dead in Massachusetts waters.
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say bruising consistent with blunt trauma could be evidence of a ship strike.
North Atlantic right whales are an endangered species. The World Wildlife Fund says only about 350 are still living.
NOAA is urging vessels to keep a watch for right whales, which often swim just below the water's surface and can be hard to see.
The 27-foot long, 1-year-old female was found dead in Cape Cod Bay on Thursday and towed to a harbor where it could be placed on a flatbed for transport. A final analysis is expected to take weeks.