Published: Dec 20, 2012 10:18 AM EST

PALM COAST, Fla. (AP) - A rare North Atlantic right whale washed up dead on a beach in Flagler County and attracted dozens of sightseers as well as a team of biologists who examined the whale to try to determine why it died.
    
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/U0sqET ) the male whale washed up near Palm Coast on Wednesday. It had been dead several days.
    
Biologists hope to determine how the whale died and whether a rope wrapped around its tail with a fishing buoy had anything to do with the death.
    
Also Wednesday, there were reports of a live right whale and calf just north of Flagler County.
    
Federal officials consider right whales "critically endangered" because the population is estimated at about 400 animals. Experts believe the whales face a high risk of extinction.

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(Photo courtesy: Pensacola Weather Network)