Carcass of beached humpback whale returns to sea

Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Skip Graf of the Mystic Aquarium Stranding Team removes a barnacle sample from the bloated carcass of a juvenile female humpback whale before towing the whale away from Lord's Point in Stonington Tuesday, July 24, 2012.

Stonington - Erin Merz, manager of media and public relations at the Sea Research Foundation, said just before the 1 p.m. high tide Monday the whale was towed about 20 feet out and tied to a pole so that it wouldn't be taken away by tides.

Tuesday, aquarium staff returned and took some samples from the whale. The dead whale washed up on the Lord's Point beach in Stonington Monday morning and will be towed out at least 10 miles from shore and punctured in order to allow it to sink at sea.

The aquarium was unable to find a location to perform a necropsy, Merz said, and because it had been dead for about a week it was unlikely the necropsy would have provided valuable information.

Humpback whales, which are known for their magical songs, are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton and small fish, according to National Geographic's website. They can weigh as much as 40 tons and are an endangered species.

Skip Graf of the Mystic Aquarium Stranding Team relays a tow-line to a boat from Coastal Environmental Services to tow the bloated carcass of a juvenile female humpback whale away from Lord's Point in Stonington Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Skip Graf of the Mystic Aquarium Stranding Team relays a tow-line to a boat from Coastal Environmental Services to tow the bloated carcass of a juvenile female humpback whale away from Lord's Point in Stonington Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
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