Whale Was Starving to Death on Jersey Shore, then Euthanized, Group Says
A whale that washed up along the Jersey Shore last week was starving to death when it was euthanized, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
The 19-foot long, juvenile minke whale was found at Island Beach State Park in Berkeley township Thursday afternoon, Sept. 19, according to a statement from the Brigantine-based animal rescue organization shared on the group's Facebook page.
"Park employees assisted our stranding staff in making the animal more comfortable until our veterinarian could arrive on site. It was determined that the whale was indeed suffering, and was dying, so he was humanely euthanized by our vet," the same update said.
The animal was starving and had no food in its stomach at the time of its death, as found in a necropsy of the whale done by a team that involved the MMSC, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, Veterinary Students from the University of Penn School of Veterinary Medicine.
The same team took samples to help find any disease or other pathogens that could have contributed to the whale's failed health.
This is the second minke whale that has stranded in NJ in the past three months and the eleventh since 2012, according to the MMSC.
"Minke whales can reach lengths of up to about 35 feet and weigh up to 20,000 pounds," according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries.