The finback whale that washed up on a Long Island shore last week was in a state of "advanced decomposition," according toThe Riverhead Foundation, which has completed its necropsy.
The group said, "There is evidence of advanced decomposition and extensive bruising on right dorsal and lateral sides of the animal. The finding of blunt force trauma is consistent with injuries sustained with a vessel strike. Samples will be sent out for further analysis to confirm these preliminary findings."
The whale's 58-foot-long body was discovered on Thursday morning at Smith County Park in Shirley. The Riverhead Foundation initially noted there were large bite marks on the whale, suggesting that scavengers (like sharks) may have been eating the dead body while it was still in the water. Finback whales are not uncommon to the waters off New York. They are the second largest whales (after the blue whale), growing to about 75 feet in the Northern Hemisphere.