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Jun 28, 2016 8:43 AM

State and town officials trying to decide who has responsibility for the whale


RYE - There is still no cause of death identified for the whale whose carcass beached in Rye on Monday.

Town and state officials are still trying to determine whether the whale is resting on state or town-owned land -- and therefor who has responsibility for cleaning up the carcass or allowing for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

David Morin of NOAA said a necropsy can be done on land or they can tow the whale to another location. This would be very expensive and the whale's location on the rocks could make it difficult to get the large equipment into place to tow it.

Town officials are worried about the July 4th holiday and want it off beach by this weekend. The granite ledge means the carcass cannot be buried in place. A team from the New England Aquarium is in place waiting for a decision about whether they can conduct the necropsy.

Known as "Snow Plow," the whale was a young female. While she was old enough to be a mother, she was not old enough to die of natural causes, according to marine mammal experts who identified her.

If Snow Plow was hit by a ship, there could be legal consequences because it is illegal to hit a whale without reporting it.


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