The carcass of what appears to be a heavily decomposed and scavaged humpback whale washed ashore at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, according to Matthew Klepeisz, public relations manager at the Virginia Aquarium.
© Chase Haugh
The carcass of what appears to be a heavily decomposed and scavaged humpback whale washed ashore at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, according to Matthew Klepeisz, public relations manager at the Virginia Aquarium.
The carcass of what appears to be a heavily decomposed humpback whale washed ashore over the weekend at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, officials said.

"We are planning to get a team out there this week for a necropsy, but, candidly, I don't know how much they will be able to find given the advanced state of decomposition," said Matthew Klepeisz, public relations manager at the Virginia Aquarium.

It is the fourth humpback whale to wash ashore in Virginia in the past month.

"While we cannot say definitively that there are more whales in the area compared to past years, that seems to be the consensus," said Alexander Costidis, stranding coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium's Stranding Response Team, "and their numbers in much of the Northwestern Atlantic are believed to be recovering.

"Unfortunately, preliminary data suggest that at least some of the local whales are spending considerable time in the Bay's shipping channels, which see considerable vessel traffic."