By Mike Busch
The 37 foot Humpback Whale that washed up on Cupsogue Beach on Sunday is scheduled to have a necropsy today. Suffolk County Parks brought in some heavy equipment yesterday and pulled the whale away from the water and Park Rangers are safeguarding the site. The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society will perform the necropsy to try to determine the cause of death.
I spoke with Kimberly Durham, the Necropsy Program Coordinator for AMCS last night. Kim tells me that the Necropsy team will consist of about 10 people taking tissue samples, looking for blunt force trauma, and trying to see what the whale was eating. They will also be looking for any kind of marine debris the whale may have ingested. While this is very unfortunate, they whale is in very good condition for examination. You will notice a large gas-filled ball near the front of the whale, I thought it might be the stomach but Kimberly tells me that is the tongue that fills with gas as the whale decomposes.
I checked out the scene late this afternoon and took some photos and shot some video. I apologize if the photos are disturbing but it isn’t often you can get this close to one of these beautiful creatures and hopefully they will help identify the whale.
More Photos on Pages 2,3 and 4