POMPANOBEACH, Florida (CBSMiami) - The carcass of a 40-foot sperm whale was found earlyMonday near the International Fishing Pier in Deerfield Beach.
A Broward Sheriff's Office statement said beachgoers spottedthewhaleSunday morning off Pompano Beach about 40 feet from shore.Tides kept washing thewhaleclose to shore as rip currents pulled itback out.
Meanwhile, authorities are planning an investigation into its death after a swimmer was seen straddling the animal.
NBCNews.com reports that the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration plans to look into a report from resident of PompanoBeach, Margie Casey, who said she saw the whale alive earlier in the dayand saw one of two swimmers get on top of the whale.
It's illegal to harass a marine mammal and if someone did get on topof the whale, it could have caused further stress and contributed to itsdeath, according to Blair Mase of NOAA.
Earlier this year, a Pinellas County woman was arrested after photos showed her riding on top of a manatee.
A marine biologist monitoring the whale's progress noted that it had scarring, which may have come from it being hit by a boat.
Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales and an endangered species