The first Northern Bottlenose Whale sighting in New York State came this week when a 14-foot female found stranded on the shore in Long Beach was euthanized, marine biologists said.
Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation experts found the whale to be suffering from an unknown ailment after a member of the public made the discovery at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the nonprofit group said.
“The most humane course of action was euthanasia,” said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the group.
This is the eighth large whale to wash up in New York this year, five of which were humpback whales. Northern Bottlenose Whales have previously been stranded in New Jersey.
Due to the rarity of the case, experts collected samples and the organs Wednesday and took the remains back to the foundation’s facility, where they will conduct a thorough exam, Bosworth said.
A necropsy revealed that the whale was suffering from renal failure. Biologists found parasites that led to abscesses and tissue necrosis in the kidneys, which supports the reason for the stranding, the group said. The parasites are being sent out for species identification.
Northern Bottlenose Whales, the largest of the beaked whale family, can reach lengths of 32 feet as adults and weigh up to 17,000 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They prefer cold, deep, temperate to sub-arctic oceanic waters usually deeper than 6,500 feet.
The Riverhead Foundation asks that the public report sightings to 631-369-9840 or email images to firstname.lastname@example.org.