NEWPORT NEWS – A fin whale got stranded in shallow waters in the James River near a Newport News shoreline Tuesday morning and later died.
After the whale died Tuesday afternoon, it was moved closer to Portsmouth, according to Matthew Klepeisz, spokesman for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. Members of the marine science center’s stranding team responded when the whale was first reported. The whale was moved closer to the shore of an island near Portsmouth so crews can perform an necropsy, or animal autopsy.
“Gross results from the necropsy showed an excessive amount of parasites in the kidneys, which likely compromised the animal. We will know more after we receive final results from the histopathologist, but initial findings were consistent with verminous nephritis”, Klepeisz told the Mirror.
The whale was found along the 700 block of Waterfront Circle, near Ivy Tower in southeast Newport News. The Newport News Police Department’s Marine Unit responded to the call and called in the stranding team, according to police spokesman Brandon Maynard.
Hazel Banks, who lives nearby, told the Daily Press she called the police department’s nonemergency line when she saw the whale about 8 a.m.