A dead adult humpback whale washed ashore in the southern part of Pi Island National Wildlife Refuge.
The dead whale was found about half a mile north of Rodante, according to the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service.
“It’s already in a decent state of decomposition and is showing some evidence of shark activity (not necessarily the cause of death), which probably happened later, according to a post on the USFWS North Carolina Facebook page.
Biologists from the Reserve and National Park Service collected tissue samples.
Given its current size and condition, they expect it to stay on the beach for a while and stink. And with the forecast of stormy surf and ongoing decomposition, parts of the whale may end up elsewhere on the beach.
Officials said there was no need to report the whale and that nature would eventually take care of it.