Whale washes up at Smith Point County Park
Environmentalists are trying to determine what caused a whale and a sea turtle to wash up at Smith Point County Park Thursday.
The whale has been described as a rare and endangered 50-foot finback whale.
"We are obtaining as much external information as we can, which will include morphometrics, will include photographs, maybe some skin samples and then come up with a plan to do an internal examination tomorrow," said Kimberly Durham, of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine research.
Environmentalists hope that a necropsy will reveal whether the whale died from natural causes or if it was struck by a vessel.
Durham says ship strikes are the leading cause of death in large whales off the coast of New York.
Fin whales are endangered, and are considered to be the second-largest species of whale, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.