Ashley Stokes | NH Marine Mammal Rescue Team Coordinator
As you have likely heard by now, our team has been very busy with a deceased 45 foot female humpback whale that washed ashore this morning at Rye Harbor State Park in Rye. We were able to access the animal at low tide to take measurements photographs, and skin samples for genetics. Using photos of the underside of the fluke (tail) colleagues from Blue Ocean Society were able to identify this whale as an 18 year old female humpback named Snowplow. Externally (for the portions of the whale that we can see) there are no obvious signs of why this whale met its demise at a relatively young age. So without an internal examine, we cannot definitively determine cause of death.
The town of Rye is looking into available options and resources, etc to figure out next steps, with the ultimate goal being a form of disposal of this animal.
Please remember if you visit the site, to keep away from this federally protected and endangered whale.