A humpback whale that was rescued Friday off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua has died, the Environment Ministry said.

"We find that the whale has unfortunately died," Carlos Mejia, the ministry's director of biodiversity, told Efe.

The adult whale ran aground before dawn Friday off El Tamarindo beach in San Juan del Sur, 140 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of Managua. Local residents and navy personnel managed to return it to the sea.

But it did not survive for long.

"We found it dead at 8:00 a.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Sunday. It's an animal some 17 meters (56 feet) long," navy Capt. Hernan Castro told Efe.l

After inspecting the cetacean's body, with was floating adrift on the ocean, Mejia said it had died on Saturday.

"They're very heavy animals, and when the water doesn't cover their entire body, it compresses their vital organs such as the heart and liver, which causes their death in some 8 to 10 hours," Mejia said.

Castro said the whale had suffered numerous blows to the body.

The Environment Ministry is coordinating a strategy to collect the remains to avoid health problems that might arise if they should wash up decomposed on the coast.

Mejia said it is not unusual to find a whale run aground at this time of year in Nicaragua, since it is the country most frequented by cetaceans in Central America.

The last whale found stranded on Nicaragua's Pacific coast was in 2010. It also died, authorities said. EFE