Well-known humpback whale killed in boat collision

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This undated file photo shows a humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, file)

This undated file photo shows a humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, file)

L.A.'s Afternoon News: Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A 48-foot female humpback whale that has been seen in the waters of southeast Alaska for nearly 40 years has been found dead.

Officials determined it had been killed in a collision with a boat, and federal law enforcement officers are investigating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday said a necropsy has been performed on the whale known by several names, including Max and No. 539.

The lead veterinarian says the whale’s left mandible, or jawbone, was fractured and the right mandible was “traumatically dislocated form the cranium.”

Officials said it likely only had been dead a few days when it was found July 1.

Officials said the whale was first seen in 1975 in southeast Alaska. She had at least five calves, and they produced at least three more.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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