A dead whale was spotted floating off of Brenton Reef and later onshore at Beavertail State Park on Friday, June 16th.
The whale, which was photographed floating near Brenton Reef on Friday morning and very close to the shore at Beavertail State Park on Friday afternoon, is 31-feet in length and has landed at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown.
“Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team and veterinary staff have responded. We are currently working with local officials to plan next steps,” Dale Wolbrink with Mystic Aquarium told What’sUpNewp on Friday evening.
A contact at the US Coast Guard Station at Castle Hill told us that they received reports on Wednesday and Thursday of a dead mature humpback whale floating in the mouth of Narragansett Bay.
Wolbrink later confirmed that the humpback whale landed at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. “It is a male 9.7 meters in length. That is all we know currently. Again, we are working with Marine Fisheries To determine next course of action,” Wolbrink told What’sUpNewp.
Wolbrink said he could not immediately answer why the whale was dead or if it was associated with the groups of whales that have been reportedly swimming in the area of Block Island and Narragansett this week. As of press time, crews were still coming up with a plan on what to do with the whale carcass.
The following update was provided to What’sUpNewp by Mystic Aquarium on Monday, June 19th;
Mystic Aquarium received calls to the Animal Rescue hotline with reports of a dead humpback whale floating off the southeastern point of Jamestown, RI on June 15, 2017. Subsequent calls to the hotline on June 16 indicated that the remains had washed ashore at Beavertail State Park also in Jamestown. The Animal Rescue team and two veterinarians responded on Friday and were able to confirm that this was a male humpback whale 975cm in length. Preliminary samples were taken for genetics.
Working in conjunction with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Rhode Island: Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Mystic Aquarium Animal care professionals will conduct a necropsy to provide as much additional data as possible. Logistical planning is underway; however, weather continues to hamper those efforts.
Whales washing up ashore in Newport are not uncommon, just during the spring of 2016 a whale washed ashore near Ocean Loop at Sachuest Point, a dead humpback whale washed ashore at Hazard’s Beach and there were reports of whales washing up on the shore of Long Island, Block Island and Cape Cod in just a few weeks.
In several cases in the past, whales have been dragged out to sea.
Officials remind onlookers that it is against federal law to touch the whale or to take anything from the whale.
This story will be updated as more information is received.
What’sUpNewp captured the following photographs at approximately 12 pm on Saturday;
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This story was originally published on Friday, June 16th at 8:38 pm.