Dead Whale Was Likely Hit By Ship: Expert

Thursday, Jun 9, 2011  |  Updated 1:51 PM EDT
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A dead finback whale washed ashore Atlantic Beach.  It's not clear how the whale died.

Greg Cergol

A dead finback whale washed ashore Atlantic Beach. It's not clear how the whale died.

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Raw Video: Whale Washes Up on L.I. Shore

A finback whale estimated to be about 30-40 feet long has washed up dead on a Long Island beach.
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A finback whale that washed up dead on a New York beach likely was killed when it was hit by a passing ship, an expert said Thursday.

Kim Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation says scientists performed a necropsy Thursday on the whale. It washed ashore on Atlantic Beach on Long Island on Wednesday.

She says the 30-ton male had been dead about a week.

Biologists found bruising and damage to its tail. The likely cause of death was blunt-force trauma from striking a ship.

She said the whale probably was feeding close to shore when it was hit.

The carcass was being sent to an incinerator later Thursday. Atlantic Beach is on Long Island's south shore, about 30 miles from Manhattan.

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