A stranded whale in Moriches Bay off Long Island was euthanized on Wednesday afternoon.
The humpback whale had been stuck on a sandbar since Sunday, but efforts to save the whale were unsuccessful.
“The veterinary team assessed the animal this morning and determined it was thin, limp, weak, minimally responsive, had evidence of neurological abnormalities, and extensive skin injuries with evidence of infection,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “Based upon these findings, the most humane option was to euthanize the whale since its chance of surviving in the wild was minimal.”
The whale was first spotted feeding in shallow waters of about one to two feet in Seatuck Cove. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation tried to help move the whale off of the sandbar, but the whale remained stranded. During high tide, the whale couldn’t get free; waves were created by boats to help the whale, but nothing worked.
"It's just very sad, that's all I can say," Chuck Bowman, president of the board of directors of the Riverhead Foundation, told Patch. "The Riverhead Foundation usually has good outcomes. But this wasn't one of them."
Earlier reports said that residents were discouraged from helping; someone tried to dredge a canal on the sandbar near the whale, but the Coast Guard and police kept them away, ABC7 reported.
"A lot of the people that live here on the bay have been able to hear it from their windows at night crying," Vincent Conwell, a Patchogue resident, told ABC7 on Tuesday.