VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) - A young humpback whale was found dead in the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday near the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier.
On Monday experts with The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center spent the morning doing a necropsy to determine how the whale died.
"We will look for bruising, broken bones. We will try to find any interaction that it came in contact with a vessel for fishing gear," research coordinator Susan Barco said.
Barco said this is the fourth humpback whale killed here since January. Three of those were from vessel strikes.
"It is a lot. It's concerning and certainly a number of humpbacks have died in other areas as well," Barco explained.
Locals were able to see the dead whale on the beach. Some even traveled from North Carolina after hearing the news.
"I wanted to see it. We were able to get up this morning at 4 am to get over here," Andrea Curry said.
Experts will examine the whale and take samples. It could take weeks or even months to officially determine the cause of death.
"When you see and look at the eyes, your heart just goes out and you feel sad," said Curry.
After the experts are done with the testing, the body will be hauled off to a landfill.