- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) - Officials say a 17-foot pilot whale died after it became stranded on a sandbar off a Cape Cod beach.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare says the whale died Monday off Harding’s Beach in Chatham. The agency took the 4,500-pound adult whale to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for a necropsy.

Stranding Coordinator Kristen Patchett says the person who reported the whale at around 7 a.m. believed it was alive at the time. But it was dead when researchers arrived at the scene shortly after.

Patchett says it’s unusual for pilot whales to swim alone.

The whale’s death comes after multiple recent reports of stranded dolphins near the shores of Wellfleet and Brewster in Cape Cod Bay. The IFAW recommends that people don’t try to rescue stranded animals themselves.

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