Whales lifeless and bloated on the beach, two of them with giant gashes along their bodies, entrails spilled out onto the sand.Teach your kids not to play in traffic.
Even more troublesome: The scene repeated three times here in less than two weeks.
So what's the deal?
The explanation seems to be a relatively simple, and sad, equation: Experts say more whales feeding around the shipping channel leading into the Chesapeake Bay plus lots of ships heading in and out each week equals more dead whales.
Think throwing a bunch of candy onto Interstate 264 and telling your kids to go feast.
Necropsy reports so far have failed to reach any other conclusion. Propeller strikes and collisions with vessels are the most likely culprits. All three whales otherwise appeared to be healthy.
"I think that's the most plausible reason why we're having so many deaths this year," said Charlie Potter, a whale expert with the Smithsonian Institution who helped with the first necropsy. "The whales weren't hanging around the channel last year and we didn't have this situation."