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RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) — A dead humpback whale has washed ashore on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that the 18-foot whale was found on Pea Island about half-mile north of Rodanthe.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the carcass shows some evidence of shark bites.

But a shark attack is not necessarily the cause of death and likely occurred after the mammal died.

Biologists conducted a field assessment and collected tissue samples.

The death will also be reported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Whale deaths are often blamed on vessel strikes and entanglement with fishing gear.

But a cause of death has not been determined.