A humpback whale was found dead on the bow of a cruise ship Wednesday as it arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska. What appeared to be a juvenile humpback was impaled by the bow of the luxury liner the Grand Princess, Princess Cruises confirmed.

“It is unknown how or when this happened as the ship felt no impact,” said Princess Cruises spokesperson Brian O’Connor, according to ABC News. “It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow.”

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Princess Cruises said its bridge navigation team had not spotted any whales nearby the ship as it sailed and that the cruise line has a program in place for avoiding whales while at sea including guidelines involving altering courses and reducing speed.

The whale, estimated to be about 20 feet long, was removed Wednesday morning by a tugboat. The tugboat was set to take it to a separate location in order for a necropsy to be performed to confirm the cause of death.

“This is nothing that I’ve seen before,” Duane Balluta, an employee with the Amak Towing Company, told KTUU-TV. “Although, I heard from the captain that this same thing happened once, years ago. We had to pull it off with the tug boat. Rope to tail and pull off.”

A team of specialists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were set to perform the necropsy. With that, investigators would determine whether the ship killed the whale or whether it was dead before being struck. NOAA spokesperson Allyson Rogers said information regarding the whale's exact age and gender would come later.

“Because it’s part of the investigation, those details won’t be released until further parts of the investigation have been solidified and witnesses have been spoken to,” Rogers told KTVA.

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There are three separate populations of humpbacks that swim in the waters off Alaska, another spokesperson for NOAA’s Fisheries told ABC News. Julie Speegle said the three populations overlap during feeding times.

A similar incident occurred in May 2016 when what also appeared to be a juvenile humpback whale was found impaled on the bow of a Holland America cruise ship as it pulled into port in Alaska. The whale was similarly towed away and investigated by NOAA.