A 12-foot male Minke whale covered in shark bites washed up dead on the beach at Robert Moses State Park on Wednesday, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation said.
Marine biologists responded Thursday to the scene between fields 3 and 4, where they performed a necropsy to determine the whale’s cause of death before burying it on the beach, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. The whale will then be buried on the beach.
The case marks the third dead whale to wash up on Long Island in a 10-day span.
A 28-foot juvenile male humpback whale was found dead on Fire Island on June 29. Experts said it died of blunt force trauma after being hit by a ship.
The next day, an emaciated eight-foot-long female True’s beaked whale calf washed up in Westhampton Beach. Biologists determined that that whale died of starvation.
Minke whales are a federally protected species that can grow up to 35-feet long, 20,000 pounds and have a lifespan of 50 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Anyone who finds marine wildlife on the beach should call the foundation’s stranding hotline: 631-369-9829.