A dead adult minke whale has washed ashore in Massachusetts adding to a year of high mortality for the giant animals along the New England coast.
Officials with the New England Aquarium say the 26-foot whale washed up in Marshfield on Tuesday. It was the second minke to come ashore in the same neighborhood in the last two months.
The aquarium says minke whales are in the midst of an "exceptional die-off" in New England. At least 20 of the animals have died in the region this year, including nine in Massachusetts.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared an "unusual mortality event" for the species. That means the deaths will be prioritized for investigation and response.
Minkes are the smallest of the baleen whales.