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Five Whales Reported Dead, Total Of Nine In Past Month

December 15, 1987

BOSTON (AP) _ Four whales were found dead Tuesday in Cape Cod waters and there was a report of a fifth whale death off Massachusetts, the New England Aquarium said.

The was no immediate evidence the deaths are related, although researchers were conducting tests to determine the causes of death.

In addition to the deaths reported Tuesday, four whales have been found dead off Cape Cod in the last month, aquarium spokeswoman Andrea Conley said.

The whales appeared to have died offshore and the deaths were not caused by mass strandings such as have occurred on Cape Cod in recent winters. None of the dead whales were pilot whales, the species traditionally involved in the mysterious beachings, Ms. Conley said.

Researchers from the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies responded to the unconfirmed report of a dead whale floating off Gloucester, north of Boston, she said.

In Truro on Cape Cod, a 41-foot female humpback whale washed ashore Tuesday on Ryder Beach, Ms. Conley said. Another whale was found dead a few hours later off Ryder Beach, she said. The species of that whale was not immediately available.

Another humpback was spotted Tuesday floating off Brant Rock north of Duxbury, she said. The whale was alive at the time of the sighting but was in poor condition and died, Ms. Conley said.

″That animal is important because the tissue and other samples will be fresh and that’s very important in determining the cause of death,″ Ms. Conley said.

A third humpback was found floating dead Tuesday off Barnstable. No further information on that death was immediately available.

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