Necropsy: Whale that washed up in NJ had been shot

October 1, 2011 3:54:34 PM PDT
Federal officials say the 10-foot-long pilot whale that washed up on a central New Jersey beach last weekend had been shot.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tell the Asbury Park Press ( that the bullet - apparently a round from a high-powered rifle - was recovered during a necropsy which also uncovered a partially healed wound. Examiners say the bullet shattered the 700-pound male short-finned whale's jaw and fractured several bones in its skull.

The necropsy also determined the whale - believed to be a juvenile - died a lingering death brought on by infection. It was still alive when it washed up in Allenhurst on Sept. 24, but died a short time later.

Officials say it's still not clear when, where or why the shooting occurred.


Information from: Asbury Park Press,

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