The sick and injured 60-foot whale that was discovered Wednesday morning beached on the shore of Queens has died, PIX11 News has learned from the Breezy Point Fire Department.
Wildlife experts said the outlook was grim for the female fin whale — the largest species of whale that normally weighs around 60 tons. They said the mammal appeared emaciated and to weigh only between 20 to 30 tons.
Volunteers and firefighters used buckets and a portable pump for hours to help keep the whale hydrated until the high tide came in to submerge it.
“It’s not looking good. The animal is really sick. At this point we are keeping our distance and letting nature take its course,” one expert told PIX11 News.
“We try to save them but a lot of the time they end up dying.”
The whale was initially discovered by Breezy Point resident Louis Bassolino and his family near Beach 216th Street and Palmer Drive.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Bassolino said. “At first I thought it was an overturned boat but when I got closer I realized what I what it was.”
Breezy Point was recently in the news due to a devastating fire that broke out the night Superstorm Sandy hit and razed over 100 homes.