Dead whale surprises swimmers at iconic Rio beach

November 15, 2017
Some touched its jaw bones, which had come loose and lay on the damp sand
Some touched its jaw bones, which had come loose and lay on the damp sand

The decomposing body of a dead humpback whale surprised swimmers when it washed up on Rio de Janeiro's iconic Ipanema beach Wednesday.

Curious onlookers approached a cordon to take photographs of the humpback, whose 14-meter (45 feet) long carcass gave off a putrid stench as it lay exposed to the sun.

Some touched its , which had come loose and lay on the damp sand.

Rafael Carvalho, a marine mammal biologist at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP: "It is not possible to know what happened, it is in an advanced state of decomposition and that makes it difficult to know the cause of death."

Carvalho is part of a team that is dedicated to removing , a relatively common phenomenon in the area because Rio lies along their migration path.

The body will be removed in a truck and then buried for sanitary reasons, he added.

"I've never seen one so close, I would have liked to have had the chance to save it," mused Mauro Azevedo, a 62-year-old Rio resident.

Curious onlookers approached a cordon to take photographs of the humpback, whose 14-meter-long carcass (45 feet) gave off a putr
Curious onlookers approached a cordon to take photographs of the humpback, whose 14-meter-long carcass (45 feet) gave off a putrid stench as it lay belly-up and exposed to the sun

Explore further: Whale carcass dug up from Australian beach over shark fears

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