An 18-ft minke whale which, was spotted almost 1,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean deep inside the Amazon Forest last week, was found dead on Tuesday.
Scientists believed that the whale had gotten separated from its group and lost its way into a tributary (branch) of the huge Amazon River. While whales do swim in fresh water, it is unusual to find them so far inland. Nobody was sure how long the whale had been lost, but they think it could have been as long as two to three months.The whale was first spotted with its back and dorsal fin exposed in the hot sun at theTapajos river in Brazil, where the locals people tried to cool it off, by splashing water on it.
Environmental groups managed to examine the whale to make sure it was healthy. They then tried to contain it so they could have it shipped back to the Atlantic Ocean . However, the whale escaped and disappeared for a few days, before being found dead.
While scientists don't know the cause of death, they think it may be because it got lost and confused in the many tributaries of the Amazon River .
The minke whale is one of the smallest of the baleen whales (whales that have baleen plates as opposed to teeth for filtering food from water), and grows an average of just 8 meters in length.