- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

RYE, N.H. (AP) - Biologists have begun investigating what killed an 18-year-old humpback whale that washed ashore in New Hampshire.

New England Aquarium spokesman Tony Lacasse tells The Portsmouth Herald the reason the whale named Snow Plow died remained a mystery as of Wednesday.

Fishermen had reported seeing the whale’s corpse floating 20 miles out to sea on Sunday. Officials believe she had been dead for several days before washing ashore near the town of Rye.

State Department of Transportation workers built makeshift roads down to the beach and used their equipment to remove parts of the 45-foot mammal.

It took several hours to cut through the whale’s layers. The whale’s bones will likely be reconstructed and used for research and education. The whale blubber will be turned into compost and fertilizer.

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