GRAND ISLE, La. — A dead sperm whale has been found on a sandbar just off a Louisiana barrier island.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it’s the third sperm whale found stranded along the state coast in the past year, and the fifth stranding of the endangered mammal in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Biologist Mandy Tumlin says in a news release Thursday that the whale found Saturday was female. Organs and tissues were collected for lab tests to try to find out what killed it.

She says its teeth also were collected, because those can reveal its age.

Tumlin says staff from her department, the city of Grand Isle and Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network got the animal on to shore for the necropsy. The city then buried the carcass farther from camps and homes.