A dead 29-foot female humpback whale washed up on Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, N.J. Saturday.
“At first, we didn’t even know what it was,” Craig Dierking, the fisherman who captured video of the flopping carcass, tells NBC Philadelphia. “I’ve never seen anything like that before."
Experts believe a boat likely killed the whale.
“A lot of people like to go really fast but you have to consider that these animals are out there and they can’t always get out of the way, especially when there’s young animals,” Sheila Dean of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells NBC Philadelphia.
Several people uploaded videos on YouTube recently of whale sightings in the area and a humpback whale skull was discovered on a Monmouth County beach this week.
Groups of whales are migrating with their mothers from the Caribbean to New England and Canada at this time of year, officials say.
Dean warns boaters to be careful as baby dolphins and large sea turtles are also showing up near the coastline.
Officials buried the whale deep in the sand of Island Beach State Park.