Experts were puzzled by the discovery of a dead 26-feet-long humpback whale in the Amazon jungle, far from its native habitat.
The whale was discovered in a forested area on the island of Marajo at the mouth of the Amazon River, around 50 feet from the sea, on Friday, according to local media.
The animal is 26 feet long and was likely about a year old, according to biologists from conservation group Bicha D’Agua, which posted photos of the discovery on Facebook.
Scientists believe the whale actually died at sea and may have landed in the forested area, among trees, after rough seas and high tides threw it inland, far from the ocean.
“We’re still not sure how it landed here, but we’re guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove,” marine specialist and Bicha D’Agua project president Renata Emin told the Daily Mail.
Aside from the whale’s unnatural final resting place, scientists are also “baffled” that a humpback whale was found on the north coast of Brazil in February.
According to Emin, humpback whales are normally seen in Bahia on the northeast coast between August to November. Then the whales migrate to Antarctica to feed. “We believe this is a calf which may have been traveling with its mother and probably got lost or separated during the migratory cycle between the two continents.”
Scientists are currently conducting an investigation on the animal’s actual cause of death. They plan to open up the carcass, collect samples and other evidence for disease analysis.
Due to the whale’s size, weight, and location (it actually took the team two attempts to reach the site due to swampy water), researchers have no plans on moving the animal but will send the skeleton to the Goeldi Natural History Museum in Belem for future studies, the Daily Mail reported.