From: Associated Press
Published September 22, 2004 12:00 AM

Dead Whale Washes Up in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A dead whale washed up on a tourist beach in Rio, the latest in a series of recent unexplained whale deaths on Brazil's southeastern coast.

The whale, unofficially identified as a Bryde's whale or a young humpback, was found recently on Recreio Beach on Rio's upscale south side, the fire department said this week.

A team of 28 firefighters tied ropes to the carcass and dragged it on to the beach. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.

"The whale's body was practically intact. It wasn't immediately possible to determine the cause of death," Col. Marcos Aurelio Silva, of the fire department's marine rescue unit, said in an interview with the Rio daily O Globo.

Last month, a humpback, a Franca, and a smaller Minke whale ran aground and died on beaches near Rio. Another Minke also washed up in Rio, but rescue workers helped it return to the sea.

Humpback and Franca whales are common in Brazilian waters at this time of year, the southern hemisphere's winter. Many whales swim north from the Antarctic to breed in the warmer waters off the South American coast.

Source: Associated Press

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