A whale that was stranded on an eastern Long Island beach Tuesday was rescued and released back into the ocean, officials said.
The minke whale was alert when police, firefighters, the U.S. Coast Guard and other rescuers responded to a call about the stranded animal just before 11 a.m.
It’s unknown how the whale became stranded off Dune Road in Hampton Bays, but it was found with no signs of trauma, officials said.
The male minke whale appeared to be young, weighing between 500 and 750 pounds and reaching 12 feet in length.
Members from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk County Parks and the Riverhead Foundation helped re-float the whale.
The whale was last seen swimming towards an inlet, according to Southampton police officials.
Officials said people should maintain a safe distance from the whale if they see it in the water.