A huge whale that beached itself on the New York shoreline has died.
The 60-foot finback whale came ashore Wednesday in the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens. Finbacks are one of the largest animals on Earth, second only in size to the blue whale, and they have a lifespan of up to 100 years. Whales and other sea mammals beach themselves for a number of reasons such as old age, disease or human causes, like a boat strike.
Every year, New York beaches see a few large whale strandings and occasionally, as with this incident, the animal is still alive when it appears. But the finback stopped breathing Thursday when it washed back to shore after drifting away during the high tide. A necropsy will determine a cause of death later this week.