A massive 30-foot-long humpback whale washed ashore this week at the Strathmere Beach section of Upper Township, New Jersey, about twenty-five miles away from Atlantic City.
The area of beach where the whale washed up is known as Whale Beach, appropriately named after a good number of whales and sea animals that have washed ashore onto this beach before. Reports of whales washing up on this location date back over 100 years.
The whale was dead when it washed up on Saturday morning, and it's still resting on the beach. The whale is estimated to weigh nearly 40,000 pounds, and the town will be responsible for its disposal. Planning to do so has presented a hefty challenge.
According to Mayor Curtis Corson, the town’s Public Works Department will bury the whale on the beach. This is a standard procedure when animals wash ashore, especially ones so large.
Humpback whales have been making their presence known more over the last decade than ever before. Sightings of these whales have increased exponentially along the New Jersey Shoreline.
In New Jersey, humpback whales are a protected species and are considered safe despite the global population of humpback whales dwindling.
The cause of the whale’s death has yet to be determined. Considering the whale was so large at its time of death, it’s likely the whale was older and died of natural causes. This will be explored via necropsy which will be performed this week by marine biologists before the whale is buried on the beach.
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