[Update Below] A beached whaled was spotted this morning in Breezy Point, where it remains stuck. The whale washed ashore at Beach 216th Street & Palmer Drive in Queens and was spotted around 10:30 a.m. According to the Coast Guard, the 30-foot whale hasn't been identified yet, but confirmed that as of 12 p.m. it "is still alive." They say police and NYPD Harbor patrols are keeping an eye on it while they wait for a member of the Riverhead Foundation to figure out a next step.
The Coast Guard added that "we really don't have any say in the situation, but we're standing by to help as we can." As you can see in the photos above, Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department members are currently pumping sea water on the whale to keep it alive. We'll update as we learn more.
Update 1:50 p.m.: According to the News—who have some pretty excellent photos—the 40-foot sperm whale might be pregnant. Volunteer firefighters continue to pump sea water on it—they add that "the whale has more movement then [sic] on arrival."
Update 3:10 p.m.: We spoke to Kris De Roo, who works for the ACS/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, who disagreed with initial reports that this is a sperm whale. "It's not a sperm whale, which have teeth. This whale has baleen," he told us. "It's clearly a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Note the long, slender body, backswept dorsal fin, and asymmetrical coloration (the front right third of the baleen is yellowish-white, while the rest is dark)." He also said he thinks it looks more emaciated than pregnant.
That was confirmed by Kim Durham, rescue coordinator with the Riverhead Foundation who is with the whale: "The whale is severely emaciated. It's in very bad shape. It's a very sick whale," Durham told Newsday. Unfortunately, things aren't looking good for the whale, and it isn't expected to survive:
"Probably we'll let nature take its turn with this animal."