ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, MD – A large humpback whale carcass has washed ashore on Assateague Island and local wildlife officials are warning the public to maintain their distance.
“The Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Network are continuing their work on Assateague Island after the unfortunate standing of a roughly 30-ton, female humpback whale,’ the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries said today. “At this time the cause of death has not been determined but the staff is conducting a necropsy to collect tissue samples.”
The department warned the public against getting too close to the whale for both health and legal reasons.
“We want to remind the public to please stay away from the humpback whale stranding on Assateague Island. Please note that this whale, even though it is deceased, is still protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Under the protection act, any taking or harassment of a stranding marine animal is illegal,” the department said. “Marine mammals can transmit diseases to humans and pets.”