Mystery over how whale ended up in Amazon jungle

A whale carcass has been found in the Amazon jungle, sparking debate among scientists about how it got there.

The humpback, measuring 8m (26ft) long and 6m (19ft) wide, was discovered around 15 metres (49ft) from the Atlantic Ocean on the island of Marajo, near the mouth of the Amazon River on the north east coast of Brazil.

Biologists from the Bicho D’agua Institute – an NGO working on Marajo Island – said the animal may have already been dead when it was washed ashore during strong tides, before coming to rest in mangroves some distance away from the shoreline.

In a post on Facebook, the NGO said: “The humpback whale stranded in soure, Marajo Island, was a puppy about a year old and 8m long.

“The carcass was found about 15m from the beach, and due to the common macromares (mangrove coastline) on the north coast of Brazil, it is totally understandable that a carcass will stop within the mangrove Not an adult animal, not as big as it looks in the images.”

The Municipal Secretariat of Health, Sanitation and Environment (SEMMA) is investigating how it came to be so far from its natural habitat and in the winter season.

Bicho D’agua staff have collected samples from the carcass – which was discovered because it attracted large numbers of scavenging birds – to find out how the whale died.

Renata Emin, the project’s president and marine specialist said they were “guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove.”

Among the theories, the Maritime Herald suggested the animal may have been killed by swallowing marine plastics and the body was then washed inland.

Remarkably, it is not the first time a whale has turned up in the Amazon region.

In 2007, a 5.5m (18ft) minke whale was freed – and later died – after becoming stranded on a sandbar near the Brazilian city of Santarem, about 1,600km from the Atlantic Ocean.

It is believed the animal made its way up the region’s river system before becoming beached.

Source: Read Full Article