KURE BEACH, N.C. — A dead humpback whale found washed up on a North Carolina beach had parasites in its kidneys.
The Wilmington Star News reported that the parasites may have contributed to the death of the whale that was found Wednesday morning in Kure Beach.
A necropsy revealed that the 15,000-pound whale was emaciated and covered in mites, according to the paper.
“They don’t know for sure what may have caused the death, but they do know that the animal had significant parasites in the kidneys and that could have been a contributing factor in the animal’s death,” said Robin Nalepa, spokeswoman for North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, according to the paper.
The whale was estimated to be between 1 and 2 years old. Biologists also plan to test the whale’s brain for mobilivirus.