A necropsy done Thursday on the carcass of a humpback whale that washed ashore on a remote part of Fire Island last week showed the animal suffered a trauma on its right side, according to the Riverhead Foundation.
It's unclear whether a ship strike caused the death, Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation spokeswoman Rachel Bosworth said.
"We will have to wait to hear from the pathologists to confirm that the bruising is present and consistent with a vessel strike," she said.
The carcass was seen floating offshore April 19 and beached a day later about one mile from Smith Point.
Fluctuating tides, safety concerns, limited access and lack of heavy equipment delayed the team from performing a necropsy until Thursday, Bosworth said.
The male humpback was 27 feet long. Determining its age was impossible due to decomposition.
The whale was buried after the necropsy was finished.