Beached Whale Buried in Breezy Point

By Paul DeBenedetto on December 27, 2012 5:52pm | Updated on December 31, 2012 11:10am

BREEZY POINT — The beached whale that died in Breezy Point has been buried on the beach where it had washed up, officials said.

Biologists from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were granted permission from the National Park Service to bury the 60-foot whale in the dune line of the beach it washed up on, according to a spokeswoman from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service.

"This makes the most logistical sense," said the NOAA spokeswoman, Allison McHale, in an email Wednesday. The whale was buried Friday night.

The endangered finback whale, the second largest of all whale species, was found on the sand near Beach 216th Street and Palmer Drive in Breezy Point shortly after 10:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Police and firefighters sprayed the whale with hoses until officials from the Riverhead Foundation arrived on scene and determined that the animal was not going to survive.

The whale was monitored through the night, and after drifting with the tide 300 yards northeast from its original location along the bay Thursday, the animal was confirmed dead by the NOAA. Biologists said the whale likely died overnight.

The Riverhead Foundation worked with the National Park Service, the Department of Sanitation and the Army Corps of Engineers to secure the correct equipment to move the whale, and began the burial process Friday night, McHale said. 

Results from a necropsy are pending, McHale said.

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