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Beached sperm whale dies off the coast of Chile

A BEACHED sperm whale has died in northern Chile.

Regional fisheries service director Maria Soledad Tapia says the whale beached itself after a fishing net snagged its fin near the coastal city of Iquique. University students, city workers, soldiers and other volunteers tried to push it back out to sea, but the whale's injuries and the strong waves made that impossible.

The whale died Wednesday near where hundreds of sea lions washed up dead a month ago. Some scientists blame toxic chemicals from a local factory. Others suspect the sea lions died of malnutrition due to overfishing in the area.


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