Local Interest
4:03 am
Thu August 16, 2007

Researchers Say Stranded Whales Had Virus

Wilmington, NC – Researchers say a virus is responsible for yesterday's mass-stranding of pygmy whales in North Myrtle Beach.

Researchers at UNC-Wilmington found congested lungs and enlarged lymphnodes in one of the three male pygmy whales, which is not unusual. What is unusual is that they've all washed up on shore so far north.

Researcher William McLellan says tissue analysis will yield more answers.

There was no signs of trauma or anything like that, nothing grossly, no evidence of animals being struck by ships or no evidence of sonar or anything like that. The tissues have to be run through to look at, and that's where the findings are going to be.

McLellan says blood and urine samples have been collected from the whales, but it will be weeks before results come in.