Queens humpback whale likely died from vessel strike

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Crews haul a whale carcass up the beach in Queens. (Atlantic Marine Conservation Society)

NEW YORK (AP) - Marine biologists say a humpback whale that washed up on a New York City beach appears to have died after being struck by a vessel.

Experts from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society say a necropsy shows the whale had tissue damage consistent with blunt force trauma.

The approximately 30-foot (9-meter)-long whale was found Tuesday on Rockaway Beach in Queens.

Volunteers and city fire crews tied the whale's tail to a tractor to prevent it from floating away. The whale's weight prevented it from being moved farther on shore.

It will be buried in a deep trench on the beach.

Humpback whales can grow to up to 60 feet (18 meters) and weigh 40 tons (36 metric tons). This one was estimated to be 2 to 5 years old.