Thursday November 16, 2017
08:48 AM GMT+8

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A woman takes a picture of a 12 meters whale that was found dead at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 15, 2017. — AFP pic A woman takes a picture of a 12 meters whale that was found dead at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 15, 2017. — AFP pic RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 16 — The decomposing body of a dead humpback whale surprised swimmers when it washed up on Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Ipanema beach yesterday.

Curious onlookers approached a cordon to take photographs of the humpback, whose 14-metre-long carcass gave off a putrid stench as it lay exposed to the sun.

Some touched its jaw bones, which had come loose and lay on the damp sand.

Rafael Carvalho, a marine mammal biologist at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP: “It is not possible to know what happened, it is in an advanced state of decomposition and that makes it difficult to know the cause of death.”

Carvalho is part of a team that is dedicated to removing beached whales, a relatively common phenomenon in the area because Rio lies along their migration path.

The body will be removed in a truck and then buried for sanitary reasons, he added.

“I’ve never seen one so close, I would have liked to have had the chance to save it,” mused Mauro Azevedo, a 62-year-old Rio resident. — AFP

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