Updated 12/27/2012 10:31 PM
Whale Found On Queens Beach Has Died
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the whale that washed ashore in Breezy Point has died.
A local family found the giant marine mammal stuck in the receding tide and dumped buckets of water on it until police, firefighters and experts arrived.
It's still not clear how the whale ended up on the beach.
The whale will be buried at the beach, but first a necropsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
The Riverhead Foundation said the whale was most likely sick.
"This animal's about 60 feet in length, and we would estimate that a 60-foot animal could probably weigh as much as 60 tons," said Robert DiGiovanni, director of the Riverhead Foundation. "We estimate that this weight is about 30 tons, so it's an animal that's severely emaciated, which is a sign that the animal has been sick for a considerable amount of time."
Finback whales are an endangered species.
They're the second-longest animals in the world and can grow to nearly 90 feet long and weigh over 70 tons.