Well-known humpback whale killed in boat collision

JUNEAU, Alaska — A 48-foot female humpback whale that has been seen in the waters of southeast Alaska for nearly 40 years has been found dead.

Officials determined it had been killed in a collision with a boat, and federal law enforcement officers are investigating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday said a necropsy has been performed on the whale known by several names, including Max and No. 539.

The lead veterinarian says the whale’s left mandible, or jawbone, was fractured and the right mandible was “traumatically dislocated form the cranium.”

Officials said it likely only had been dead a few days when it was found July 1.

Officials said the whale was first seen in 1975 in southeast Alaska. She had at least five calves, and they produced at least three more.

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