Early Monday morning, a dead, 35-foot-long male humpback whale washed up on the shore of Lido Bach on Long Island, in Nassau County.
The massive mammal is, according to Hempstead Town supervisor Don Clavin, the first of its kind to make an appearance in the area in the past four years.
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A team of marine biologists is expected to perform a necropsy to understand how the whale passed away and, after that, it will be buried somewhere on the beach it was found on.
A male humpback whale, about 35 feet long and weighing several tons, has washed up in Lido Beach. Officials say it’s the tenth large whale that has stranded in less than two months on Atlantic Ocean beaches including Long Island and the Jersey Shore. pic.twitter.com/y2u96duMkc— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) January 30, 2023
Obviously, a sad and horrible sight, the spotting of the mammal follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) tracking of the male humpback whale for the past four decades, according to ABC7.
“So this whale’s name is Luna, and we have been following the whale for a while,” Andrea Gomez of the NOAA said to the outlet. “It was last sited alive in September of 2022.”
Experts are particularly invested in the recent development given the fact that Luna is actually the 10th whale to wash ashore in New York and New Jersey in less than two months.
Although many believe offshore wind activities to be the culprit, others are suggesting that nearby vessels might have struck the animal—which is exactly what happened to another whale that was found dead in New Jersey just two weeks ago.
Whatever the cause of Luna’s passing, we mourn her passing and hope for similar events never to happen again.