A young 13-foot sperm whale died after landing on the shores of Rockaway, a spokesperson for Gateway National Recreation Area said this week. Eyewitness reports indicate that the female whale was still alive when it beached on February 11, but that it died before experts from the Riverhead Foundation, a marine and research institute on Long Island, could reach the scene to assist the stricken mammal. Officials from Riverhead removed the dead whale the following day, moving it to its research facility for a necropsy. The whale was thought to be less than a year old and experts say that it had some malnutrition and may have been separated from its mother and unable to get any nutrition. 002p1_xlg.jpg

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