7 Nov 2009

Body of rare finback whale brought ashore

10:09 am on 7 November 2009

A whale rarely seen in New Zealand's coastal waters has been brought into Lyttelton Harbour after its body became stuck on the bow of a cargo ship.

It is not known whether the 14m-long finback whale died at sea and was carried towards New Zealand on currents, or died in a collision with a ship.

The Department of Conservation is taking the whale to Christchurch for a necropsy which will determine how it died.

The finback whale is the second biggest whale species and can grow to a length of 26m.