Dead Whale Found South of Oil Spill

It's still unclear if the oil caused the death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 17, 2010 2:56 PM CDT
Dead Whale Found South of Oil Spill
Oil blobs are seen in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – A dead sperm whale has been found floating 77 miles south of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It's not yet clear whether exposure to oil caused the animal's death, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting tests. The whale was found yesterday, but its condition suggests it may have been dead for several days or more than a week.

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It's the first dead whale that's been found in the area since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. The whale wasn't found in oiled water, though the exact location of its death is unknown. NOAA marine mammal experts are working to determine the location from which the whale's body may have drifted. (Read more sperm whale stories.)

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