A rotting humpback whale was found washed ashore Fire Island on Sunday morning, according to marine experts.
The 35- to 40-foot-long marine creature was discovered in an “advanced state of decomposition” by a Fire Island National Seashore park ranger near the Point o’Woods community, said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
The whale attracted a large crowd of Memorial Day weekend beachgoers before Suffolk County police ordered them back.
Experts from the marine conservation group will help remove the dead whale and perform a necropsy to determine how it died.
This is the third reported death of a humpback whale this year.
Another humpback whale was found dead on a beach 30 miles west nearly two weeks earlier. The young 32-foot female whale had heavy bruising and was likely hit by a boat before coming to a rest on Long Beach.
Authorities with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are investigating the death as an “unusual mortality event.”