Sandwich, MA– The carcass of a 45-foot, 40-ton humpback whale named Vector washed up on East Sandwich Beach Monday evening. The adult female whale was first seen in 1984, according to the Center for Coastal Studies, and she often swims the waters around Maine and Massachusetts during this time of year. Sadly, she will no longer be making appearances in Cape Cod Bay waters.
Vector had been seen every year for the past 15 years in many areas of the Gulf of Maine from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, reports Mass Live. She birthed five calves over the years.
Vector's body was spotted Saturday afternoon floating in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Sharon Boutilier, a representative of IFAW, stated, “She was first known to us floating in the bay on Saturday, so she’s been deceased for several days now.” It took the humpback whale's body a few days to reach the shore, but on Monday evening, she came to rest on East Sandwich beach.
After the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) brought Vector up out of the water using heavy machinery, they determined it would be necessary to tow the whale to a more suitable location. The organization moved Vector’s body to Sandy Neck Beach in nearby Barnstable early Tuesday morning. The necropsy of the 40-ton whale was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Local residents were upset to learn that the whale who swam the immediate waters for over 30 years was found dead this week. One Cape Cod local, Shane Kopcak, said, “You don’t see this every day, there’s always something new in the ocean but I’ll probably never see this again in my life. It’s sad, it’s really sad.”
Another representative from the IFAW, Melanie Mahoney, stated, “I am looking forward to our teams doing their job to dig into her story to find out what happened to her. We will do our best to determine the cause of death.”
Vector’s cause of death has not been publicly released yet; the IFAW is still determining what happened.