NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A beached fin whale has washed ashore in Breezy Point, Queens. The whale came ashore along the bay side of the Rockaway peninsula.
The 60-foot whale was spotted around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and was still alive as of 5 p.m., CBS 2′s Drew Levinson reported.
Members of the Point Breeze Fire Department used a hose to pump sea water onto the whale in an effort to keep it alive.
The NYPD and the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Prevention are also on the scene in Breezy Point.
Local biologists said it’s not uncommon for whales this size to be found off the local beaches.
“We know that we have them year-round. It becomes more uncommon to have them wash up sick or injured on our beaches, but we still get a handful. Over the last 10 years we’ve probably had two dozen animals that have washed up,” Riverhead Foundation biologist Rob DiGiovanni told CBS 2′s Levinson.
Many people, like Jack Cameron and his 6-year-old son, Avery, came to get a look.
“You know, it’s sad to see but again, part of nature and my son wants to be a marine biologist, talk about botany and things of that nature, and I thought this would be a great real-life experience,” the Forest Hills father told Levinson.
The fin whale is the second longest animal in the world, reaching up to 75 feet and can weigh up to 74 tons, Levinson reported.
Biologists believe this whale once weighed about 60 tons, but now that it’s emaciated it weighs about half as much.
It’s bleeding from cuts on several parts of its body. Biologists said they are unsure what caused the cuts.
“Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that we can do other than what the public is doing right now, which is giving it its space and keeping the scene quiet and at least not making this a very chaotic situation,” DiGiovanni said.
Biologists said if the whale does not make it, they’ll perform a full necropsy to determine a cause of death.
Biologists said they plan to watch the whale throughout the night.
The whale, which was first identified as a humpback, is said to be in very grave condition.
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