Officials will perform a necropsy on a dead 16-foot minke whale stranded Friday on the harbor side of Centre Island Beach, authorities said.
The whale was originally stranded before 9 a.m. on the beach but was able to get back into the West Harbor area of Oyster Bay Harbor and swim away, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. Around 1 p.m., the whale stranded again and died.
Minke whales are one of three whale species that are dying in “unusually” high numbers along the Atlantic coast in the last year, the Hampton Bays-based conservation group said in a news release.
The black, blue and white-colored whale was believed to be about 15 years old, officials said. Its gender and cause of death will be determined through the necropsy, which will be done Saturday morning at Old Bethpage Landfill, according to the conservation group.
Authorities strapped the 5,000-pound whale into a payloader on the beach to remove it, according to George Baptista, Oyster Bay Town’s deputy commissioner of the Department of Environmental Resources.
Baptista said officials have “no idea” how the whale ended up along the North Shore.
“It’s the first one everyone here has ever heard of it,” he said. “It’s kind of sad.”
Minke whales are common throughout the Atlantic Ocean, as well as elsewhere in the world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.