Scientists study cause of endangered whale calf’s death

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CAPE LOOKOUT, N.C. (AP) — The National Park Service says scientists are trying to discover the cause of death of a whale calf belonging to “one of the rarest marine mammals” on earth after it was found stranded on a beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Biologists performed a necropsy on the North Atlantic right whale calf and took DNA samples Saturday. The National Park Service at Cape Lookout National Seashore posted news of the whale’s death on its Facebook page.

Right whales are critically endangered. The park service says only about 360 of the animals are still alive and about five or six calves are born each year.

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