Finback whale beached in Queens is dead - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Finback whale beached in Queens is dead

Posted: Updated:
A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang) A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang)

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) --A 60-foot whale was found dead on Thursday after getting stranded on a beach in a coastal enclave of New York City that was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The animal -- part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales -- was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded on the bay side of Breezy Point. Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the water.

At high tide, the whale drifted away and out of sight before washing ashore again on Thursday morning, this time having stopped breathing, said Mendy Garron of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Marine experts later confirmed the animal was dead. They planned to perform a necropsy to determine a cause of death before burying the giant carcass, said Kimberly Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research.

The experts had given little hope the whale would survive because it appeared to weigh only about 20 to 30 tons -- well less than half normal. The whale appeared to have scratches or streaks of blood on its body, but no signs of serious trauma suggesting it had been hit by a boat.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, finbacks average 70 feet in length and 70 tons in weight -- second in size only to blue whales. It also is one of nature's fastest whales, capable of short bursts of up to 35 mph.

The whales were placed on the endangered species list after whaling decimated their numbers in the North Atlantic before a 1987 ban. Some estimates put their current count in the North Atlantic below 2,000.

Experts say the biggest threats to the finbacks are collisions with large ships, entanglement with fishing gear and a depletion of food supply because of overfishing.

Superstorm Sandy caused serious flooding and a fire that destroyed 100 homes in Breezy Point when it struck in October.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:14:53 GMT
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
  • Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:15 AM EDT2014-04-16 10:15:30 GMT
    Fox 5 photoFox 5 photo
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
  • NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:36:21 GMT
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices