Beachgoers at Bethany Beach got a huge surprise as a humpback whale washed ashore Friday morning.
The male whale was reportedly 33 feet long, weighed about 33,000 pounds and not more than 2 years old. A resident located the marine mammal on the beach by the Pelican's Pouch community off of Route 1 and reported it to authorities at around 6:30 a.m., according to WBOC.
A necropsy was conducted by the MERR Institute after a crew from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control moved the whale to dry sand.
Suzanne Thurman of the MERR Institute told WBOC there was apparent blunt force trauma that indicates it may have been struck by a boat, but the cause of death is still unknown. They will test the whale's internal organs for any diseases and biotoxins.
Crews are expected to return Saturday morning to bury the whale.