- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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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