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On LI, a long history of beached whales

The dead humpback whale lies on Main Beach

The dead humpback whale lies on Main Beach in East Hampton. (April 9, 2010) Photo Credit: Doug Kuntz

Before the Great Humpback Whale Saga of '10, Long Island already had a long history of whales found stranded on our shores.

Since 1981, the region has seen eight beached whales.

Here's the list, thanks to research by Laura Mann in the Newsday library:

April 2010 – After a strange three-day episode that captivated the region in which a young humpback whale was seemingly resurrected when officials reversed an incorrect statement that it had died, the whale was euthanized off the shores of Main Beach in East Hampton.

October 1999 -- Like this month's East Hampton whale, officials decided it would be nearly impossible to rehabilitate a baby sperm whale that washed up in Westhampton Beach. Unlike the painful three-day episode last week, this gray 18-foot-long female calf was put out of its misery just a day after it was found.

May 1993 -- A 300-pound baby whale, found sick and stranded on Lido Beach, died at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where it had been flown for emergency treatment.

December 1991 -- An 8-foot-long pygmy sperm whale found stranded on Westhampton Beach in July died at the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium after living in captivity for four months. An autopsy showed a bizarre cause of death -- a pine needle had torn a small hole in the animal's lung and led to an uncontrollable infection.

September 1991 -- A baby pygmy sperm whale found stranded off Fire Island was transported to New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, where it died.

July 1989 -- Kidney failure contributed to the death of the rare beaked whale five days after it was rescued in a shallow Long Island Marina at Point Lookout.

October 1988 -- A stranded and hungry whale was found in the shallow waters of Peconic Bay.

April 1981 -- A 12-ton sperm whale, nicknamed Physty, fell behind his pod somewhere in the Atlantic. Before he swam into legend, Physty had to be towed a mile and a half east to the deeper waters of Captree Boat Basin.

A young humpback whale was stranded on Main Beach in East Hampton for three days. (Doug Kuntz Photo / April 8, 2010)

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