(REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.) - It was a whale of a discovery. A humpback whale washed up in North Shores just outside of Rehoboth Beach.
"A whale washed up on the beach on Henlopen acres right below Rehoboth Beach. A friend of mine called me and said hey there's a whale on the beach," said Rich King, who lives in the area.
Suzanne Thurman of the Meer Institute said, "The first report from a member of the public this morning, and at that time the whale was floating off of Rehoboth Beach. Slowly, but surely it made its way up here and the city of Rehoboth Beach notified us when they had been alerted that it had made almost landfall right here in North shores."
Officials will now examine the whale and take samples from it, to try and learn as much as possible.
"DNREC is going to assist us with heavy equipment to try and remove the whale from the water and onto a good landing site, hopefully down within the state park so that we can conduct an (autopsy) and try to do determine more information about the animal, and what happened to it," Thurman said.
The humpback whale is already an endangered species, and another turning up on shore is a very bad sign.
Thurman said, "An unusual mortality event is declared when, when a large number of a certain species is dying in a relatively short period of time. So, for us here in Delaware, this will be the 5th humpback whale in about 10 months. In addition, there were two floating in the Delaware Bays."
"The Ocean is killing them," one visitor from Michigan said.
44 humpback whales were stranded on the east coast last year.