CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - A large dead whale washed up near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Wednesday night.
Paul Barrington with the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher says the whale is a 16-foot-long Minke whale. Officials moved the whale so it would not get washed back to sea and secured the area.
Science experts say it was a 2-year-old Minke Whale, which is the smallest of the large baleen species.
Marine biologists form UNCW performed a necropsy on the whale Thursday morning and found significant damage to the internal organs. The Minke Whale suffered a collapsed lung and other signs of trauma to its organs, which suggest the whale died of natural causes.
The biologists also found several bites on the whale that probably happened post death. They say some of the bite patterns suggest a large shark, possibly a Great White, bit the animal after it died.