ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — Researchers with College of the Atlantic’s Allied Whale, University of Maine, the Maine Marine Environmental Research Institute and unaffiliated volunteers spent most of Wednesday carefully dissecting an adult male minke whale that was brought to Otter Cove at Acadia National Park.
With the necropsy, or detailed dissection, they hope to determine the cause of death.
The 23-foot long whale was initially spotted near Head Harbor Island on Aug. 12 and washed ashore at Sand Beach at Acadia National Park on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Unlike several larger whale species, minke whales are not listed as endangered or threatened, though they are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There are an estimated 185,000 minke whales in the North Atlantic Ocean, according to information posted on the NOAA Fisheries website.