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Humpback whale that washed ashore on Fire Island had trauma on its right side, marine group says

A dead humpback whale washed up Tuesday afternoon,

A dead humpback whale washed up Tuesday afternoon, April 21, 2015 near the east end of Fire Island, according to Fire Island National Seashore. Photo Credit: Fire Island National Seashore

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.


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