ASSATEAGUE ISLAND — Environmental officials are investigating the death of a humpback whale that was found stranded along the Maryland coast.
The whale, known as “Pivot,” was first cataloged by the Massachusetts-based Center for Coastal Studies in 2008 and was frequently sighted in the Gulf of Maine.
It was found dead last Thursday on the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore.
Assateague officials said in a Facebook post Tuesday that, despite several hours of work, crews were unable to move the whale, which is estimated to weigh about 30 tons.
“It proved beyond the capabilities of our equipment to move it out of the surf zone,” officials wrote, adding that removal efforts might resume Wednesday.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists have taken tissue samples from the carcass in an effort to determine the cause of death. Officials said there were no obvious physical signs of a nonnatural death.