Posted by: The ocean update | July 9, 2015

Dead whale washes ashore on beach in Babylon (New York, USA)

Minke-whale-NYJuly 9th, 2015 (Kristin Thorne). BABYLON (WABC) — Experts are investigating the death of a 12-foot minke (MIHNK’-ee) whale found on a Long Island beach, the sixth to wash up in just the past few months.

The latest whale was found Wednesday night at Robert Moses State Park in Babylon.
“We received a call from New York State parks last night that the animal was in the surf,” said Rob DiGiovanni of the Riverhead Foundation. “We have some predation. It looks like some shark bites on the animal. Whether that was pre or post mortem before or after death. it’s a little difficult for us to look at right now.”

Those with the Riverhead Foundation says six whales have washed up around the area since January, from Coney Island to Westhampton.

A more typical number is only a few a year, we’re told.

Marine biologists aren’t exactly sounding the alarm, but Rob DiGiovanni says they also want to understand what is going on.

“We had a similar occurrence like this in 2001, a similar amount of animals wash up over a similar amount of time and then it just stopped,” he said.

Those with the Riverhead Foundation say it appears four of the whales were struck by ships. But they say more testing needs to be done.

“There could be other contributing factors, such as the animal may have been sick,” said DiGiovanni, who says it may just be as simple as there are more whales in the water.

“We used to have only one or two every few years and now we’re having one or two every year. Do we just have more animals in our area?,” he said.

Or do we just have more victims of anthropogenic activty, said Sibylline ?

There isn’t exactly a quick answer to that question, so the mystery continues.

DiGiovanni says the adult male appears to be about 3 years old.

A necropsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.

DiGiovanni says minke whales are common in the waters off Long Island.

In recent weeks, a humpback and a True’s beaked whale have also washed up on Long Island beaches.

A dead minke whale washed ashore at Robert Moses State Park on July 8, 2015. (Credit: Handout)

A dead minke whale washed ashore at Robert Moses State Park on July 8, 2015. (Credit: Handout)

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