A whale rarely seen in the area washed up on a Brooklyn beach earlier this week and later died, an animal conservation group said.
The New York Marine Rescue Center traveled to Plumb Beach from their location in Riverhead, after reports came in on Sunday about the stranded pygmy sperm whale. Before the group arrived, concerned onlookers pushed the whale back into the water multiple times.
When it surfaced for a third time, the NYMRC conducted an in-field assessment. Euthanasia was determined to be the best course of action for the compromised animal, which is not commonly seen along the coast of Long Island.
However, because of incoming tide, location, and human safety concerns, the whale would be monitored overnight and reassessed first thing in the morning.
The condition of the whale continued to deteriorate and it passed away in the early morning.
A necropsy was performed by the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. The marine mammal was a young adult male, nine feet in length.
The whale was also found with a number of parasites.
This is the 18th pygmy sperm whale to get stranded in New York in the last four decades.
The NYMRC said that cetaceans — dolphins, porpoises and whales — are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and attempting to feed or interact with the animals is illegal.
The best way to help any of those animals, while also keeping them and any people involved safe, is by maintaining a 150-foot distance and calling the NYS 24-Stranding Hotline at (631)-369-9829.