NORFOLK -- A dead whale on the beach in Norfolk is attracting a crowd of people who want a up-close look at the mammal.
The 42-foot male sei whale washed up near 1st View Street on Sunday.
The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Teamsays it's likely the whale was struck by a boat because of the 'deep 1.5 foot gash on the back of its head, which fractured its, coupled with traces of orange and brown paint or rust.'
A necropsy will likely be performed on Tuesday or Wednesday. Until then, team members are monitoring the whale. Even in death, whales such as the sei whale are protected by the federal marine mammal protection act and people should stay away from the animal, but looking and taking pictures is certainly allowed, officials stated.
Aquarium officials say sei whales follow prey inshore. A female sei whale stranded in Sandbridge last March and died as a result of a boat strike and ingesting plastic.
Team officials say there are only about 80,000 sei whales in the world.