A 60-foot finback whale, the second largest animal species in the world after only blue whales, beached itself at Breezy Point in Queens on Wednesday. Though firefighters and police started spraying the sea mammal immediately after it was discovered in an attempt to keep it alive, biologists said the whale appeared to have died Thursday morning. It was "not moving a lot," Mendy Garron, a regional specialist for the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, told the AFP. "In many of these cases, when an animal of this size strands, they are usually compromised in some form or another."
Because the whale is located on National Park Service land (in the Gateway National Recreation Area), Fisheries is hoping to borrow heavy equipment from the NPS to conduct an on-site necropsy. "The park service is also expected to help dispose of the whale's body," according to the New York Times's City Room blog. Garron, the NOAA specialist, is checking with local landfills and also considering burial options.