A young humpback whale was euthanized on the November 23rd after it had gotten stranded on a sandbar in the Long Island’s Moriches Bay. Roughly 200 people mourn the death of the female, which they still think it could have been saved if the NOAA rescue officials had acted earlier.
The humpback was 33-foot-long and weighed around twenty tons. The locals first spotted the animal on November 20, shortly after it had gotten stranded. According to the NOAA veterinarians, the female was ill and weakened.
The marine biologists were surprised to find such a large animal in a shallow bay. However, these sightings have become more common over the past few years. It is worth mentioning that full-grown humpback was spotted a week ago in the Hudson River.
The NOAA officials said that only a high tide could have carried the young female into deeper waters. However, it never came, so the rescuers weren’t able to help the animal because it was too large to drag it from the sandbar with the help of large boats.
Professor Craig Harms, from the North Carolina State College, said that the humpback whale was too weak and looked emaciated after spending several days stranded in the bay. The veterinarians said that the animal suffered from a neurological illness and other possible infections, so they came to the conclusion that euthanizing it was the only solution left.
Therefore, the young female was first sedated and then euthanized. After the necropsy, the investigators discovered signs of trauma in the dead animal, but they weren’t able to establish an exact cause.
Based on the statistics, it appears that the humpback population is recovering after its numbers plummeted during the 20th century due to massive whaling and other environmental factors. Better still, this species is no longer considered to be endangered as the NOAA officials announced in September that the conservation efforts paid off.
The humpback whale has been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1970. There are fourteen humpback populations across the world, and nine of them living in Australia, the West Indies, and Hawaii have successfully recovered. Nevertheless, the populations in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, California, and Mexico are still protected.
Image Source:Monterey Bay Aquarium