Posted by: The ocean update | October 13, 2015

Humpback Whale Washes Up in Montauk (New York, USA)

A dead humpback whale, measuring 26 feet long, washed up about a quarter-mile east of Ditch Plain Beach. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation was notified of the whale on Monday. Riverhead Foundation

A dead humpback whale, measuring 26 feet long, washed up about a quarter-mile east of Ditch Plain Beach. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation was notified of the whale on Monday. Riverhead Foundation

October 13th, 2015 (Taylor K. Vecsey). A dead humpback whale washed ashore at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk for what is believed to be the second time in less than a week. Officials from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation believe the carcass is the same one that washed up on Thursday and then was washed back out to sea before they could get to it. 

The badly decomposed carcass was in a difficult area to traverse, about a quarter mile east of Ditch Plain, and biologists were only able to get there to examine it on Monday afternoon with the assistance of East Hampton Marine Patrol. The humpback was a male that measured approximately 26 feet. They believe it is the same whale that washed up nearby on Wednesday night. The tide had taken it back out by Thursday morning.

Biologists will try to determine the cause of death, however, “due to the lack of a disposal plan with the town at this time, the foundation is unable to conduct a thorough examination,” according to Rachel Bosworth, the foundation’s public information officer. Information on trauma or illness could not be collected, she said. Biologists will not perform a necropsy on site without a disposal plan in place. Ms. Bosworth said the disposal plan is up to the town, and she is hopeful it will determine one soon.

“A biologist did indicate that the mandible was broken (this generally does not happen unless it is a traumatic injury),” she said. The team may return to collect additional samples.

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