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Endangered whale washes up on Fla. beach

Thursday - 12/20/2012, 6:02am  ET

AP: 27927e61-0475-4068-a401-3199ac634de5
In this photo provided by NOAA, a crew removes a dead 26-foot- right whale that washed up on beach in Palm Coast, Fla. Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered whales in the world. Biologists are conducting a necropsy to determine the cause of death. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - One of the most endangered whales in the world has washed up dead on a beach in northeast Florida.

Marine officials said Wednesday that the 26-foot-long North Atlantic right whale washed up overnight on a beach near Palm Coast, about 65 miles south of Jacksonville.

Federal marine official Barb Zoodsma says biologists aren't sure what caused the death.

A necropsy will be conducted on the beach since the 1-year-old whale is too large to move. The whale will then be buried on the beach.

There are less than 400 North Atlantic right whales left in the world.

The whales are found from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. Pregnant females travel to waters off the southeast coast to give birth.

Zoodsma says the dead whale wasn't old enough to reproduce.

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