Finback whale beached in Queens is dead - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Finback whale beached in Queens is dead

Posted: Updated:
A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang) A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang)

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) --A 60-foot whale was found dead on Thursday after getting stranded on a beach in a coastal enclave of New York City that was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The animal -- part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales -- was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded on the bay side of Breezy Point. Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the water.

At high tide, the whale drifted away and out of sight before washing ashore again on Thursday morning, this time having stopped breathing, said Mendy Garron of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Marine experts later confirmed the animal was dead. They planned to perform a necropsy to determine a cause of death before burying the giant carcass, said Kimberly Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research.

The experts had given little hope the whale would survive because it appeared to weigh only about 20 to 30 tons -- well less than half normal. The whale appeared to have scratches or streaks of blood on its body, but no signs of serious trauma suggesting it had been hit by a boat.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, finbacks average 70 feet in length and 70 tons in weight -- second in size only to blue whales. It also is one of nature's fastest whales, capable of short bursts of up to 35 mph.

The whales were placed on the endangered species list after whaling decimated their numbers in the North Atlantic before a 1987 ban. Some estimates put their current count in the North Atlantic below 2,000.

Experts say the biggest threats to the finbacks are collisions with large ships, entanglement with fishing gear and a depletion of food supply because of overfishing.

Superstorm Sandy caused serious flooding and a fire that destroyed 100 homes in Breezy Point when it struck in October.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • NYC subway report card

    NYC subway report card

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:09:16 GMT
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
  • Plane evacuated after landing at LaGuardia

    Plane evacuated after landing at LaGuardia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:44:01 GMT
    A small jetliner made an emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport Wednesday afternoon shortly after taking off, authorities said. American Eagle Flight 3340, carrying 44 passengers and three crew members, departed LaGuardia heading for Knoxville, Tenn., when it had to turn around because of a maintenance issue, the Port Authority said.
    A small jetliner made an emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport Wednesday afternoon shortly after taking off, authorities said. American Eagle Flight 3340, carrying 44 passengers and three crew members, departed LaGuardia heading for Knoxville, Tenn., when it had to turn around because of a maintenance issue, the Port Authority said.
  • 5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:07:01 GMT
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices