ROCKAWAY PARK — The dead humpback whale that washed ashore at Rockaway Beach on Tuesday was likely killed by a vessel in the ocean, according to officials.
Marine biologists dissected the approximately 60,000 lb. whale in a cordoned off area at Beach 117th Street Wednesday, and determined its injuries were "consistent with a vessel strike," said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, said
The whale, which was approximately two to three years old, was buried in an 8-foot hole in the sand after it was dissected, according to the Parks Department.
Both the AMCS and the Department of Sanitation recommended the whale be buried as opposed to getting carted off in pieces for disposal, which is how officials disposed of a whale that washed up on Coney Island in 2015.
"NYC Parks mourns the death of this humpback whale, one of nature’s most awe-inspiring beings," spokeswoman Meghan Lalor said in a statement.
"We thank our partners including the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, DSNY, OEM, and FDNY for their assistance in investigating the death and keeping the site safe and clean."