Work is being carried out to determine what killed a juvenile fin whale discovered on the bow of a cruise ship entering a port in Alaska.
The cause of death was not apparent for the endangered whale which was spotted just after 5am local time on Sunday on the bulbous bow of Holland America Line ship Zaandam as it prepared to dock in Seward.
Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for the fisheries section of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Associated Press the whale was towed to a beach near Seward.
The death of the whale may not have been the result of a ship strike, Speegle said, as it could have been already dead in the water.
A spokeswoman for the cruise line said the company was saddened by the incident, adding that Holland America Line has a comprehensive programme to avoid striking whales and was not aware of whales in the area.
"Our ships have clear guidelines on how to operate if whales are sighted nearby, which include altering course and reducing speed as required," she said.
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