What was meant to be a very rare, exciting sighting of a blue whale by a tourist boat off the coast of Walvis Bay in Namibia was short-lived, when onlookers realized that the whale was dead.
It is likely that the whale was killed in a hit-and-run-ship strike.
The blue whale, a young female measuring at 18.3 metres, was discovered by local tour operators Laramon Tours on 26 April. They reported the carcass to the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP), which conducts dolphin, whale and turtle research in Namibia and southern Africa.
The carcass washed onshore on 27 April, which allowed the NDP to fully inspect its injuries and determine that it was likely killed by a ship.