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Dead humpback whale washes ashore in Rockaway Park, officials say

A dead humpback whale was found washed ashore

A dead humpback whale was found washed ashore on Rockaway Beach on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Credit: Gotham Whale / Zvi Reisch

A dead humpback whale washed up on a beach in the Rockaways Tuesday morning, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.

The whale, a juvenile male measuring between 25 and 30 feet long, was found dead at 7 a.m. on the beach at 117th Street in Rockaway Park, said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the organization, which is a newly formed group authorized to respond to large whale strandings. United States Coast Guard personnel spotted the whale floating nine miles offshore Monday evening, Bosworth said.

Officials will examine the whale and perform a necropsy Wednesday morning, according to Kim Durham, the conservation society’s necropsy program coordinator. They will then bury the animal on the beach.

From an initial examination, Durham said she couldn’t see any “obvious signs of trauma.”

“There doesn’t appear to be any evidence of trauma or signs of entanglement from what I can see right now, though we’ll have to wait to examine the animal from other angles,” she said. “We’ll need to do an internal examination to determine the cause of death.”

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society officials urge members of the public to remain at least 150 feet away from the whale.

“With the whale in the surf it is still dangerous to get close as this animal may weigh around 25 tons,” Bosworth said.

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