Beached Whale in NYC Dies

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The whale on a beach in Breezy Point, Queens. Credit: Twitter/jillapallooza

The 60-foot finback whale that beached itself in New York City appears to have died, biologists said Thursday morning.

The

national fisheries officials who inspected the whale in the morning said they had not seen the mammal take a breath in 45 minutes, Robert DiGiovanni

Jr., executive director of the Riverhead Foundation, told the New York Times at 10:45 a.m.

"We can basically say that it's dead," Mr. DiGiovanni told the New York Times.

Experts said the ailing whale was a finback, the second biggest animal species in the world after blue whales, and came ashore in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens.

Police and firefighters had immediately begun carefully spraying it with water to keep it alive until experts could take over.

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But Mendy Garron, a regional specialist for the federal NOAA Fisheries service, said the sea mammal was "really emaciated, not a good body condition at all."

It was "not moving a lot," she added.

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"In many of these cases, when an animal of this size strands, they are usually compromised in some form or another," Garron said.

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Garron noted that, on average each year, "we've got a couple of large whale species strandings in NY. Occasionally they are alive."

The sea mammals beach themselves for different reasons. It could be "due to natural causes, old age or disease, and sometimes, for human cause instances, like a boat strike or fishing interaction," she explained.

Adult finbacks can reach up to 88 feet and weigh up to 70 tons.

They are found in all the world's oceans and they can live to 100 years old.

According to the Riverhead Foundation, at least 25 species of whales and dolphins have been seen in the New York region.

–AFP