A Cuvier’s beaked whale was the first of its kind to wash up on an Outer Banks beach early Friday.
People at the Outer Banks Fishing Pier reported seeing the whale in the surf about 4 a.m., said Karen Clark, program manager at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.
Scientists from six research organizations showed up after hearing about the species, taking the opportunity to fill in research gaps.
Scientists do not know much about Cuvier’s beaked whales, Clark said. The whales are seen swimming in large groups off the coast, but no individual had ever washed ashore on the northern beaches of North Carolina. A few have come ashore in the southern portion of the state, Clark said.