Dead humpback whale washes ashore at Rye beach

RYE, N.H. — Authorities have identified a 45-foot dead whale that washed onto rocks near Rye State Park as an 18-year-old female named Snow Plow.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that fishermen had reported seeing the humpback whale's corpse floating 20 miles out to sea on Sunday. Officials believe it had been dead for several days before washing ashore.

Officials from New Hampshire Fish and Game, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the New England Aquarium were called in to investigate the cause of death.

Rye Police Chief said there are no obvious signs, and state officials say it's unlikely the whale was hit by a boat.

Snow Plow had been observed by scientists since she was a calf in the southern Gulf of Maine.