MYSTERY swirls around how a humpback whale wound up dead in the Amazon jungle miles from natural habitat.
Scientists rushed to find the carcass of the massive mammal, which reports estimated at 11 metres long and six metres wide, when images started circulating online.
Bicho D’agua Scientists will conduct an autopsy to discover how the creature died
The grisly discovery was made on Friday, and investigators were initially stumped because the animal didn’t appear to have any wounds.
According to a video of the discovery posted online, the animal was found after vultures were seen flying above.
A group of ten biologists from the NGO Bicho D’agua raced to the scene to discover how the creature found itself stranded so far from the water, according to O Tempo Brasil.
The position of the whale is even stranger because it happened during the Amazonian winter, when fresh water rivers flood.
SEPARATED FROM ITS POD
Normally whales are only found in the Amazon basin during the summer, when salt water penetrates river.
The Brasilian news outlet said the expert struggled to reach the carcass on the first attempt, and were in a race against time to dissect the animal and collect samples for analysis to work out how the creature wound up in the unlikely spot.
On the second attempt they were able to reach the animal, and found it resting 15 metres from the ocean, on the island of Marajo.
They discovered it was slightly smaller than initially estimated, but still an impressive eight metres longer.
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The whale was estimated to be roughly a year old, and it is theorised the animal lost its mother during a migration.
In a Facebook post, the NGO said they suspected the animal was a calf, and had become entangled in the mangroves after being flung ashore by high waves.
The Maritime Herald suggested the animal may have been killed by swallowing marine plastics, and then the body washed up on shore.
Bicho D’agua The animal was found to be a calf – but still measured eight metres in length
Bicho D’agua Scientists begin an autopsy on the animal to try and work out why it died, and how it ended up so far from the ocean
Bicho D’agua The research team believe the whale became trapped in mangroves near the beach
Bicho D’agua An image shows the stretch of beach near where the whale was found
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