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Whale washed up on Fire Island possibly hit by vessel, officials say

The 33-foot humpback washed ashore “in an advanced state of decomposition” and a necropsy was performed on Monday.

The body of a dead humpback whale washed

The body of a dead humpback whale washed up on Fire Island on Sunday, May 27, 2018, officials said. Photo Credit: Fire Island National Seashore

The whale carcass found Sunday on the Fire Island shore showed signs of being struck by a vessel, the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said.

The mammal was a 33-foot female humpback that was fairly decomposed, biologists said after a necropsy Monday, and samples taken will be sent to a pathologist to help determine cause of death.

The humpback was reported washed up in Point O’ Woods on Sunday “in an advanced state of decomposition,” according to the conservation nonprofit, based in Hampton Bays.

The conservation group said its necropsy was conducted with help from Fire Island National Seashore, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Point O’ Woods Association and Suffolk police.

During the examination, the response team saw another humpback whale swimming offshore.

The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society urges the public to share sightings of large whales by emailing sightings@amseas.org. Stranded marine mammals and sea turtles should be called in to the NYS Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829.

Humpbacks live about 50 years and have the longest migration range among mammals, according to NOAA. They’re known for their aerial displays, from jumping out of the water to slapping the surface with their fins and tails.

Certain populations of humpbacks are considered endangered while others are threatened or depleted, the federal agency said.

Members of the public are asked to keep 150 feet away from whales and other marine animals under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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