NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Officials for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service say a 25-foot-long humpback whale was euthanized Wednesday after becoming grounded on a sandbar off the coast of Long Island.
The whale was estimated to weigh between 15 and 20 tons. Officials say it got stuck in Moriches Bay over the weekend. It had been in the area for more than a week before that.
A necropsy could take several weeks.
The Riverhead Foundation of Marine Research and Preservation tried to dislodge the whale but failed. The organization says it was not allowed to dig a whole or channel around the whale to free it due to federal restrictions that keep the public at least 50 yards from a humpback whale.
Some residents told Fox 5 News the whale had been making crying sounds for several days.
With the Associated Press