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Dead Whale Washes Up in Coney Island, Officials Say

By Katie Honan | June 8, 2015 5:14pm | Updated on June 8, 2015 7:25pm
 A dead Minke whale washed up on the shore of Coney Island Monday afternoon.
Dead Whale Washes Up in Coney Island, Officials Say
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BROOKLYN — A dead whale washed ashore on Coney Island Monday afternoon, officials said.

The whale beached at the end of Ocean Parkway in Brighton Beach at approximately 2:30 p.m., according to officials.

A spokeswoman with the Riverhead Foundation identified it as a Minke whale, which is common in New York City waters.

Kim Durham, the program director for Riverhead Foundation, arrived Monday evening to perform a necropsy on the mammal which will determine the approximate age, sex and cause of death, she said.

"We're here because we want to determine the cause of mortality — if it was a natural mortality or did something like a ship strike it," she said.

"Was this animal eating, did it have signs of injury or illness? Or was it a healthy animal that was in the wrong place, wrong time."

After the necropsy, the whale will be cut into pieces and hauled away by Parks Department officials, she said. 

Minke whales are the smallest of the large whale species that includes finback, humpback and blue whales, Durham said. It's unusual for this type of whale to wind up at Coney Island, although they've had other instances nearby on the Rockaway peninsula, according to Durham.

This is the third dead whale to beach along the coast of Long Island in the first six months of this year alone, which "seems like a lot," Durham said. By comparison, there only three dead whales reported in all of 2014, she said. 

In 2014, a whale was killed after it was impaled on a luxury cruise boat, officials said. Another beached whale died in 2012 off of the bay side of Breezy point.