Dead whale washes ashore at Smith Point County Park
Chopper 12 was over the scene at Smith Point County Park’s outer beach where a dead humpback whale washed ashore early Friday.
Officials say the whale was a male, believed to be around 5 years old.
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society Chief Scientist and Executive Director Rob DiGiovanni Jr. says the whale was over 35 feet long and looks to have been dead for a while.
He says this is the 13th deceased whale this year to wash up in the tri-state area.
“We are currently in the middle of an unusual mortality event for three species of large whales – the humpback whale, the right whale, as well as the minke whale,” DiGiovanni says.
A necropsy is being done to determine the cause of death.
DiGiovanni also says a special ceremony took place for the whale before the necropsy began.
“We work with the Shinnecock and the Unkachugs to conduct a ceremony to celebrate the spirit of the animal,” DiGiovanni says.
NOAA fisheries says necropsy reports can take several weeks to months to complete.