A veterinary team ended the life of a whale that was found trapped on a sandbar in Long Island.
Veterinarians from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made the decision after determining the whale could not be saved after days of efforts attempting to help the whale vacate the area.
“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,” NOAA said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“Based upon these findings, the most humane option was to euthanize the whale since its chance of surviving in the wild was minimal,” NOAA said. “The whale was successfully euthanized using injectable medications with the time of death being approximately 1:20 p.m.”
The whale was first spotted swimming in Seatuck Cove,but on Nov. 20 it got stuck in shallow water in Hart’s Cove, which is located in Moriches Bay.
“The whale wasn’t able to free itself during the subsequent high tide cycles, and efforts to create wave action by boat to aid the animal’s movements also failed,” NOAA said.
A necropsy is planned for the whale to determine if any underlying medical conditions contributed to this incident.
NOAA pointed out that whales which become stranded are often already facing health issues like malnutrition or other illnesses. Meanwhile, marine biologists say hauling whales off beaches or pushing them out can cause internal injuries and worsen the situation.
Humpback whales are listed as protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
This is not the same humpback whale that was recently sighted swimming in the Hudson River.