A 16-foot minke whale found clinging to life and stranded in shallow waters of Northwest Creek in East Hampton Town on Thursday morning later died, officials said.
The female whale was located by personnel with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and the East Hampton Town Marine Patrol, said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. The animal was first spotted around 8 a.m. and was reportedly breathing, but otherwise not active, she said.
Barnacles attached to its fluke, and the whale's thin body were signs it was in poor health, Bosworth said. A necropsy examination was expected to take place Friday, Bosworth said.
Minke whales are the smallest of the baleen whales, and common off the waters of Long Island, officials said.
Adults can grow to weigh 20,000 pounds and as long as 35 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In December 2018, a 17-foot long minke whale was stranded off Center Island Beach. The whale swam away only to wash ashore later. Officials with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said the underweight male minke most likely died from disease and had been sick for some time.
The public is urged to report any sightings of stranded, sick or deceased whales at the New York State Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829. Sightings of healthy whales can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.