Huge blue whale washed up dead on New Zealand beach

May 28th, 2009 - 7:53 am ICT by IANS  

Wellington, May 28 (DPA) A rare blue whale, measured at 27 metres long and estimated to weigh about 150 tonnes, has washed up dead on a New Zealand beach, news reports said Thursday.
The animal, found by abalone divers in a remote spot near the northern tip of the South Island, had several shark bites, but whale expert Anton van Helden of the Te Papa national museum told the Dominion Post newspaper it was likely to have been attacked after dying at sea.

There are said to be fewer than 2,000 blue whales, which are the largest animals ever known to have lived.

The Department of Conservation said the carcase would be left to rot because it was in a site too inaccessible to be removed.

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