Whale stuck in shallow waters off Long Island euthanized: NOAA confirms

Whale stuck in shallow waters off Long Island euthanized: NOAA confirms

A huge humpback whale that grew sicker and thinner after being stuck in the shallow waters of Moriches Bay off Long Island was euthanized by a team of New York veterinarians on Wednesday, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed.

The 20-ton whale was first spotted in the shallow waters more than ten days earlier. It became stuck in a cove where water was just two feet deep. Soon, it became “minimally responsive” and developed signs of neurological issues along with extensive skin injuries and infection.

After trying other options, NOAA officials determined that the most humane option was to euthanize the huge marine creature.

A joint veterinary team from the NOAA and private researchers concluded, “The tidal conditions and other oceanic or biological factors that led to this stranding overtook any ability by our responders to rescue it … the most humane option was to euthanize the whale since its chance of surviving in the wild was minimal.”

Defending the controversial decision, NOAA officials said that when a large whale strands for a long time, it develops underlying health issues like illness or malnutrition. Thus, refloating it mayn’t be in its best interest.

Humpback whales are protected under the federal government’s Marine Mammal Protection Act but the NOAA removed several species of the marine creature, including those found off the coast of New York, from the Endangered Species List earlier this year.


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