The dead whale washed onto shore on Long Island Beach with bruises on its side and bite marks.
The 58-foot finback whale was first seen at Smith Point County Park beach on Thursday, October 9th. The whale has since been studied by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, and then buried on the beach.
In statements released by the Riverhead Foundation on thier Facebook page the whale was in an advanced state of decomposition when it washed ashore. The dead whale showed evidence of bruising on its side and dorsal that would be consistant with a strike from a vessel, and it had bite marks on its stomach.
The finback whales, who usually weigh 40 to 80 tons, are endangered in the USA, according to th National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This makes them the second largest species of whale, behind the blue whale. NOAA also lists collisions with vessels as one of the top threats to finback whales.
Samples from the dead whale were taken and sent off for more research and analysis. Hopefully these samples can bring more knowledge and information about the finback whales so that at least this gentle giant did not die in vein.
H/T USA TODAY