Ocean City, NJ - It was an incredible site – the lifeless form of a 60 foot whale bobbed slowly up and down in the waves on an Ocean City beach Monday afternoon, while gulls circled overhead.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine reportedly identified the whale as a Finback whale. Finbacks can reach 70 feet in length and are endangered. No word yet on how the whale died, although a boat strike is being considered a possible cause.
On this misty winter afternoon, police on the scene estimated as many as a thousand people trekked over the 7th Street beach throughout the day to get a close up view of the whale. The dead whale brought not only a crowd of onlookers, but also press coverage as well. WCAU-TV, Philadelphia’s NBC station, did live shots from the scene.
You didn’t have to get too close to notice the smell. The whale reportedly was dead for at least a week. UPI reports that the whale could be the same one seen floating outside of New York shipping channels last week.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is expected to be back on the beach Tuesday to examine the huge carcass once it comes ashore.