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Dead Whale Washes Ashore Near LaGuardia Airport, Officials Say

By Aidan Gardiner | January 13, 2017 10:48am | Updated on January 16, 2017 8:37am

QUEENS — Federal and local authorities are figuring out what to do about a dead whale that washed ashore near LaGuardia Airport Thursday, officials said Friday morning.

The sea creature, a 15-foot "pre-adult" Minke whale, was found near the airport's 13/31 runway Thursday afternoon, according to Jennifer Goebel, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Right now, we're working with the Port Authority to develop a plan to move it out of that area and possibly some place else to do a necropsy," Goebel said.

An Army Corps of Engineers crew rode up to the whale on a boat in an attempt to haul it into the water as other Department of Environmental Conservation officials sought a place to take it, Goebel said.

Until a necropsy is carried out, officials won't know how the whale died.

"We'll hopefully get more information about the animal and figure out what happened to it," the spokeswoman added.

Officials with the Riverhead Foundation, which is also helping, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Minke whales can grow to 35 feet and roam throughout the north Atlantic and north Pacific, eating a diet of crustaceans, plankton and small schools of fish, according to NOAA.

Listen to a Minke call (this is 10 times normal speed):

Whale sightings aren't uncommon in the New York area. One was spotted near the Statue of Liberty in November.