VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team is working to find out what caused the death of a whale off the coast of Virginia Beach.

The aquarium received a report on Feb. 7 about a dead humpback whale floating in the water near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

WAVY viewer Albert Burnett shared these images he took of the whale Tuesday.

The Stranding Response Team, U.S. Coast Guard, and Army Corps of Engineers will be out near Lynnhaven Beach Wednesday where they plan to secure the whale by First Landing State Park then bring it to shore where they can perform an examination and necropsy.

The public is asked to maintain a safe distance.

Whales are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Action which makes it illegal to touch the animal.

If you ever notice a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, please report it as soon as possible to the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response hotline at (757) 385-7575.