The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating the death of a humpback whale that washed up on the south shore of Long Island after becoming entangled in a fishing net. The adult female, weighing about 20 tons, was discovered by a surfer on Tuesday.
“She displayed a lot of wounds and trauma, and was also on the thin side,” noted Kinberly Durham, rescue director for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Preservation, who added that “once the federal government returns to full operation, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also get involved with the investigation.”
This is the second humpback to die on Long Island this year. She was buried onsite with the help of the state’s Park Department.
Humpback whale, which are found all over the world, are on both the state and federal endangered species list. They are easily identified by their stocky bodies, obvious hump and black dorsal coloring. Their heads and lower jaws are covered with knobs called tubercles (hair follicles), while their black and white tail fins, can measure up to a third of body length. Males generally grow to be 43-46 feet long, while females are quite a bit larger at 49-52-feet in length.
The whales, which can weigh anywhere from 30-40 tons when mature, are also known for their acrobatic antics and courtship crooning
Note: To report an injured or dead whale (or any other marine