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Local tour operators discovered a blue whale floating off the coast of Namibia.

Blue whales are the biggest animals in the world and are critically endangered. Sightings of these animals are very rare, especially off the Southern African coastline.

The tour operators alerted the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP) of the carcass after realising the animal was dead.

Business Insider reports that the blue whale was a young female measuring 18.3 metres. A fully grown blue whale can reach up to 30 metres in length.

When the carcass washed on shore the following day, the NDP was able to inspect it and determine the cause of death.

Doctor Simon Elwen, the Director of Sea Search that overseas the NDP, said that they are as confident as can be without a full necropsy that the cause of death was "ship strike".

"It looks like the ship hit the flank, then the animal was rolled, and the fin was broken too. It likely died very quickly."

Watch the Sea Search Rescue And Conservation video below for more on the blue whale carcass that was found floating off the coast of Namibia.

Image credit: The Cardboard Box Travel Shop

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