A dead baby blue whale washed up on the shores of Japan on Sunday, about 40 miles south of Tokyo.
The mammal, which was found dead on the shores of Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura City, measured about 32 feet in length, Reuters reported. On average, adult blue whales, the largest animals on earth, grow to about 100 feet long and weigh 200 tons. The one that washed up on Yuigahama Beach is believed to be a baby born this year, NKH World reported.
The cause of death is still unknown, according to ABC News.
WASHED UP: Beach goers discovered a dead blue whale washed up on a beach near Tokyo, Japan. Local experts say the size of the endangered mammal indicates it was born this year. Cause of death is still unknown. https://t.co/POUzRJfmVtpic.twitter.com/XCQcfZRmX8— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 6, 2018
The whale is still there. They were taking measurements this morning, and will bury it later today. Asked a fisherwoman obaachan if this had ever happened before — nope, not that she recalled. Nothing this big. pic.twitter.com/VxTjJrV6jW— Kamakura By The Sea (@Kamakura_By_Sea) August 5, 2018
Kanagawa Prefecture Kamakura city's coastal whales,As a result of field survey by the experts of the National Science Museum,It was a blue whale of a 10M length of an child born this year.There was no record of the past drifted on the coast of Japan, this time the first time. pic.twitter.com/sA0He1DF1S— うちまめ (@ommzk) August 6, 2018
NBC News’ local Chicago station reported that Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science said there is no record of this happening before in the country.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the mammals are endangered. They were a main whaling targets during the 20th century, even after the practice was stopped in 1966 and the animals were given protected status.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.