“We believe this is a calf which may have been traveling with its mother and probably got lost or separated during the migratory cycle,” marine mammal expert Renata Emin of Bicho D'água said in an interview the Brazilian site O Liberal. “We're still not sure how it landed here, but we're guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove."
The fact that it was found so far from the beach is obviously of interest, but so is why it would have been in the vicinity of northern Brazil at this time of year in the first place, as humpbacks are typically found in warmer waters in the Southern Hemisphere in February.
The researchers will conduct an autopsy in hopes of determining the cause of death, though that will take roughly 10 days to complete.
Incredibly, this isn't the first time a whale has mysteriously found its way into the Amazon. Back in 2007, as both Newsweek and Motherboard point out that a minke whale was discovered alive and rescued from a sandbank a whopping 1,000 miles inland in Brazil, only to die a few days later.
If it's true that this youngin' died because it got lost after being separated from its mom, it's for sure a sad turn of events, but at least the researchers were able to find it before it turned into a monster.