The stranded finback whale that washed up on the coast of Breezy Point, N.Y., Wednesday is likely dead, an official from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation told FoxNews.com.
"We currently have people at the scene, and it appears that the animal has stopped breathing," Rob DiGiovanni, the foundation's director said in a telephone interview on his way to the Queens beach.
The body of the 60-foot-long, malnourished finback whale was moved by Thursday morning's high tide. It was not breathing when it was discovered. The whale was half the weight of a healthy finback, which weighs somewhere around 60 tons. Its poor condition was easily visible. The whale's ribs protruded from its body.
"When a whale gets beached, oftentimes it is compromised and unhealthy to begin with," he said.
He said the foundation will examine the body of the whale to determine its cause of death.
DiGiovanni said it is important to report any whale sightings around the city to his foundation to gain a better understanding of these migratory animals.
Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.