Dead whale washes up on beach at Jersey shore

A dead whale washed up on a Toms River beach. A dead whale washed up on a Toms River beach.
TOMS RIVER -

(AP) - Authorities say a dead whale has washed ashore on a beach at the Jersey shore.

But it's not clear what caused its death.

The roughly 40-foot-long whale was found Wednesday in Toms River. It's not known when it may have died, but officials say it was in a deteriorated state from being gnawed at by sharks.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center officials say the whale may have been killed by a ship strike.

A passing cruise ship had initially spotted it a few days ago, about 13 miles off New York City. It first appeared in the surf off Toms River on Tuesday.

Center officials say the whale was too decomposed to determine its species. Crews plan to cut it into five smaller pieces and move it to an undisclosed location.

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