stories raise many questions
25-foot whale carcass was discovered washed up on a Fire Island beach Monday,
June 29, 2015, Suffolk County police said. (Credit:
Instagram / anelorenyc)
experts believe that a humpback whale found Monday evening on a Fire
Island beach died after colliding with a ship.
The Riverhead Foundation conducted a necropsy of the 28-foot
juvenile male whale Wednesday morning with assistance from the Fire Island
National Park Service, Brookhaven Town and bay constables. Biologists found
blunt force trauma and a broken skull, injuries consistent.
Whale That Washed Up in Hamptons Died of Starvation
Fro left: a True's beaked whale washed up in Westhampton
Beach and a humpback whale washed up on Fire Island.
The True’s beaked whale that
washed up in Westhampton Beach last week was an emaciated eight-foot-long
female calf that died of starvation, according to The Riverhead Foundation for
Marine Research and Preservation.
Marine biologists who
performed a necropsy Thursday on the emaciated whale that found it had no food
in its stomach and had died days before being found Tuesday, a spokeswoman for
the group said.
“It is believed this whale
was still dependent on its mother, and would still have been nursing at this
stage,” the group said in a news release, which noted that the whale’s carcass
had been scavenged on by animals on the beach.
The whale was found the day after a 28-foot-long juvenile humpback whale
washed up on Fire Island. The foundation determined that the humpback died of
injuries consistent with being struck by a ship.
As far as the True’s beaked
whale, the foundation noted that little is known about them since they’re
rarely observed by humans because they inhabit deep ocean waters far from
They can grow up to 17-feet
long and weigh 3,000 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA).Their name is derived from Frederick W. True, a curator
at the Smithsonian Institution, who described the species in 2002 after one was
found stranded on a North Carolina beach, according to the NOAA.
Although it’s rare that one
of these type of whales washes ashore, an adult 15-foot-long female True’s
beaked whale was found on a Long Island beach a day before one of her nearly
9-foot-long calfs also washed ashore last year, the Riverhead foundation said.
The lactating mother had
ulcers in her stomach, a heavy burden of parasites and was thin, the group
said. Although initially stranded alive, she was pushed back into the water by
people on the beach before she re-stranded herself and died while the team was
The group wants to remind the
public that it is a violation of federal law to interact with federally
protected animals like these mammals. Anyone who finds marine
wildlife on the beach should call the foundation’s stranding hotline: