Well not sure if you guys saw the news. But recently there was a Whale beaching in Breezy Point, Queens NYC. Not just any whale, this is a Fin Whale. At one point these whales were hunted by the thousands for their blubber and meat. Over 725,000 fin whales were reported taken from the Southern Hemisphere alone between 1905 and 1976.
Below is a screen shot of the news article about the unfortunate event.
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the fin-back whale or razorback is the 2nd largest animal on our planet. Growing to 89 ft long and weighing nearly 74 tons, 2nd only to the Blue Whale. They have actually been known to interbreed with Blue Whales, adding to another reason why pure Fin Whales are endangered. There are at least two recognized subspecies: the fin whale of the North Atlantic, and the fin whale of the Southern Hermersphere, making this guy/gal part of the Atlantic population. Its no coincidence that the beaching came in the wake of the recent tragic Hurricane Sandy that ravaged the North East. These whales feed on small schooling fish, squid, and crustaceans including cope-pods and krill. Whales beach usually when there is an issue. The news reports state that this whale was malnourished and underweight. These whales migrate along a set rout that is usually dotted with rich feeding grounds along the way. It could be possible that this Fin Whale got lost during the storm and entered a stretch of ocean that was lacking in sufficient food sources. Causing it to starve and possibly in a desperate attempt to locate food, it wondered into local NYC waters where it eventually scummed to starvation and eventually beached itself in Queens. In an ironic twist, it landed on a beach in one of the hardest hit areas during the storm. Now New York’s finest find themselves with a unique task of trying to keep this behemoth alive. Using high pressure water hoses they kept the whale’s skin from drying out. Unfortunately the whale did not make it, there was also mention that it was possibly euthanized to end it’s suffering. One of the problems with a animals this large that’s used to having it’s mass displaced by water is that once it’s on solid ground the weight now applies pressure on it’s vital organs. Truly a sad ending to this otherwise amazing encounter. Hopefully the next time a Fin Whale (or any other whale for that matter) is in our Urban area it’s watching it in a healthy, natural state.