On the morning after Christmas, a whale washed ashore at Beach 216th Street & Palmer Drive in Breezy Point, Queens. The emaciated 60-foot finback whale was declared dead Thursday, and a necropsy was performed yesterday. It was confirmed that the whale had nothing in its stomach, and its injuries were not human-caused. After the necropsy, the whale was buried in the dunes on the beach where it washed ashore.
Biologists won't know for sure what killed the male whale until tissue samples from it are analyzed: “No cause of death will be determined till those results come back,” Mendy Garron, a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, told the Times. Because of how it landed on the shore, no one is sure how old the whale is right now. But it's possible it was an adult and lived out its full lifespan (finbacks live up to 90 years!).
Louis Bassolino, 66, had been walking the beach looking for his boat (that was lost during Hurricane Sandy) when he spotted the whale around 8 a.m. Wednesday: "I saw just the top of it. It looked like a capsized upside-down boat. I thought maybe it's my boat," Bassolino told the Post. "Then I saw the tail jump up out of the water, and the spout of water. I realized it was a whale."