NANTUCKET (AP) – Federal and local law enforcement officials are investigating the mutilation of a humpback whale carcass that washed up on a Nantucket beach.
A spokesman for the New England Aquarium says the whale washed up at Smith’s Point at the island’s west end on Saturday.
Biologists had planned a necropsy on the 36-foot whale but when they arrived Monday they found that someone had cut about three-quarters of the way through the tail with a sharp object, likely a knife.
The necropsy was abandoned and the whale washed back out to sea.
A spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office tells the Cape Cod Times mutilating a whale carcass is a violation of federal law.
The whale had been dead several days when is washed ashore.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)