Whale dies on New York City beach

A researcher from the Riverhead Foundation for marine research and preservation talks on the phone...

A researcher from the Riverhead Foundation for marine research and preservation talks on the phone in front of a deceased beached whale in the Queens borough region of Breezy Point, New York, December 27, 2012. A 60-foot finback whale that washed up on a beach in New York City on Wednesday has died, a marine rescue official said on Thursday. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Reuters

, Last Updated: 2:20 PM ET

NEW YORK  - A 60-foot whale that washed up on a beach in New York City on Wednesday has died, a marine rescue official said on Thursday.

The finback whale had appeared on the beach in New York’s Breezy Point neighborhood and marine conservationists had been fearful for its survival. Breezy Point, in the borough of Queens, faces the Atlantic Ocean and was devastated by flooding and fire in superstorm Sandy in October.

“Biologists have confirmed that the whale has died,” said Mendy Garron, a marine mammal rescue specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Plans are currently being developed for necropsy and disposal of the carcass.”

The finback is the second largest marine mammal species after the blue whale, according to the NOAA Fisheries website. An adult can reach 85 feet (26 meters) and weigh up to 80 tons, although northern hemisphere finbacks tend to be somewhat smaller than their southern cousins. Typical lifespan is 80 to 90 years.


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