The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said Saturday it could not determine how a male humpback whale died before it was discovered on Laurelton Boulevard beach on Aug. 16.
The 29.8 foot whale had washed ashore at around 5 p.m. last Friday, and the organization urged residents to stay 150 feet from the animal, saying that even though it was deceased, it could still be unsafe in its location and condition.
Officials from the agency conducted a necropsy on the whale on Aug. 17, but due to the advanced state of decomposition, the cause of death could not be determined.
Though the necropsy did not determine the cause of death, conservation society officials said on Facebook that samples were sent to a pathologist for review, but the results could take months. The remains were buried close to where it was found on Laurelton Boulevard beach.
According to the agency, this was the fifth humpback whale incident in New York that it has responded to this year. Three of the whales were found deceased, the conservation society said, one of which is believed to have been killed after it was struck by a vessel. The cause of death for the other two could not be determined. The agency also responded to an entangled whale that had freed itself and another whale that had evidence of a vessel strike.
The agency urged residents to report any sightings of dead or distressed marine animals to the NYS Stranding Hotline at (631) 369-9829.