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.


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