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North Atlantic Right Whale Carcass Spotted Off Mass. Coast

In this Feb. 14, 2017 photo, a pair of right whales feed just below the surface of Cape Cod Bay off shore from Provincetown. (Center for Coastal Studies via AP)
In this Feb. 14, 2017 photo, a pair of right whales feed just below the surface of Cape Cod Bay off shore from Provincetown. (Center for Coastal Studies via AP)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Another rare North Atlantic right whale has been found dead, this one on an island off the coast of Massachusetts.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare reported the decomposing carcass on social media Monday along with photographs from the Coast Guard.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration numbers, it would be the 16th right whale death reported this year in a population of fewer than 500 animals, an unusually high mortality rate. Most of the deaths have occurred in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The whale reported Monday was spotted on the rocky shore of Nashawena Island, one of the Elizabeth Islands chain off the south coast of Massachusetts.

The IFAW and NOAA will work to determine the cause of death.

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