A finback whale about 30 to 40 feet washed up ashore in front of The Sands Beach Club in Atlantic Beach on a hot Wednesday morning.
Nassau County police said the whale was spotted by beachgoers who were walking on the beach on the western end of Long Beach, the westernmost barrier island on Long Island’s south shore. The whale appears to be dead, police said.
The whale appears to be the same whale that experts have been tracking since Sunday, according to reports. The finback was first seen near Long Branch, NJ.
Raina Russo, an Atlantic Beach resident, said she was at home when she heard helicopters overhead and decided to go out and see what was going on at the beach.
She said the whale appears to have been in an accident after it washed up on shore decomposed.
“It looks like it was hit because the tail was sliced so it appears to be like an accident,” Russo said.
She added: “It looks like its been dead for a few days.”
Russo posted a picture of the whale from the Twitter account of EcoOutfitters, a company she co-founded that educates and connects homeowners and business that want to go solar.
The incident comes after a dead pilot whale was found on Fire Island recently and about a half-dozen basking sharks were spotted off of Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton last week.
The whale’s gender is not yet known.
Marine biologists from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation will conduct a necropsy to determine the whale’s cause of death.
They will arrange for the whale’s disposal with the Town of Hempstead, which runs the beach where the discovery was made.
Rob DiGiovanni of the Riverhead Foundation said it is unclear how long the whale has been dead because it’s decomposed.
He said it’s not uncommon to spot finback whales because they swim near Long Island all year round.
“The only reason why we don’t see them is becasue they might be just a little farther offshore,” he said, “they’re here most of the time.”