A minke whale has died in Cape Cod waters, the third such whale found in area waters this season.
The 18-foot whale that was hauled ashore Saturday in Barnstable was first spotted alive Friday morning in Wellfleet Harbor.
Brian Sharp is a marine mammal research and rescue manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. He tells the Cape Cod Times rescuers escorted the whale out to sea. It was found dead Saturday east of Barnstable Harbor.
A necropsy will be performed on the 3,500-pound whale.
Minke whale deaths are under scrutiny by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has declared an unusual mortality event along the East Coast. Since the event was declared in early 2017, 42 minke strandings have occurred from Maine to South Carolina.