This week a humpback whale that washed ashore on an N.Y. beach was possibly killed by a ship, federal authorities mentioned on Wednesday.
An autopsy is expected to help determine the whale’s cause of death, a male whale named Luna. It was over 40 years old and being tracked by marine biologists for several decades, mentioned officials associated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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The whale was found at the Lido Beach West Town Park on Monday morning and was hauled with a crane up to the beach.
A necropsy team, including some representatives associated with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, the Mystic Aquarium Animal Response Program, NOAA Fisheries, and others, got together on Tuesday and reportedly cut through the fat to get some samples of the internal organs of the whale, the NOAA officials mentioned in a statement.
The officials mentioned that the whale was most likely killed via a vessel strike, but more is going to be known once the sample results are available.
Officials mentioned that the level of decomposition of the dead whale indicated that it had passed away several days before it washed ashore, contradicting previous reports that it had seemingly beached itself while alive.
According to officials, the whale was approximately 41 feet in length and weighed about 29,000 pounds.
NOAA, responsible for the nation’s oceans and fisheries, mentions that 19 humpback whales were reportedly stranded in 2022 along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. During the first month of 2023, seven whales beached to Florida from Maine.
References: WOKV, U.S. News, Washington Post
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