LIDO BEACH, N.Y. (WPIX) – A dead whale was found on a beach in New York on Monday morning, marking the 10th such incident, in the general area, in recent months.
The large humpback washed ashore on Lido Beach, on Long Island, around 6 a.m., officials said.
NOAA Fisheries measured the massive mammal at 41 feet. The humpback whale has no visible signs of injury, but investigators are hoping a necropsy will lead them to a cause of death.
Bulldozers and diggers were brought in to drag the whale to higher ground so it could be preserved for examination.
A crowd of people gathered to see the whale on Monday, many in awe of the enormous and beautiful sea creature, the likes of which are rarely seen on the sand.
“It’s sad, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see a beached whale,” bystander Kate Magee told Nexstar’s WPIX.
This is at least the 10th whale to wash up on the shores of New York and New Jersey in just two months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While officials look for a cause of death, NOAA Fisheries said the investigation comes amid a spate of unusual elevated humpback whale deaths along the Atlantic coast since 2016, during which at least 180 humpback mortalities were observed between Maine and Florida. Some may be attributed to vessel strikes, NOAA says, though such impacts only about 40% of the whales studied.
NOAA Fisheries has officially declared the phenomenon an “unusual mortality event.”
The deaths have also sparked community concern about offshore wind farm development, and the potential harm it may be causing to marine life.
Whatever the cause, a local official said he hopes it’s discovered soon.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin Jr. said he hopes it is discovered soon.
“It’s majestic to see it but it’s also a very sad day,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin Jr. “It’s a loss of a life, of a beautiful creature and hopefully, they can find out what the cause was because it’s happening a little too often.”