A dead 15-foot pilot whale washed ashore Sunday morning in Wildwood Crest, Marine Mammal Stranding Center Director Bob Schoelkopf said.
The whale, weighing close to 1 ton, was emaciated and appeared not to have eaten for some time, but it had no visible signs of injury, Schoelkopf said.
It was washed onto the beach by the tides, he said.
Wildwood Crest police contacted the Stranding Center. The borough’s Public Works crews helped move the whale so it could be sent to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, where a necropsy will be performed.
Joe Bond, public works superintendent, said his department was called about the whale early Sunday. The whale was moved from the beach at Syracuse Avenue by about 10 or 10:30 a.m.
Public Works crews used a backhoe to place the whale into a sling and then lifted it into a wheel loader, Bond said.
Schoelkopf said the whale, which he said was an offshore species, was about 2 feet longer than the truck used to move it.
Also Sunday, Schoelkopf said the stranding center collected a dead 80-pound loggerhead sea turtle that washed up in Stone Harbor.
He said the turtle appeared to have been killed after being hit by a boat. “It probably came up to take a breath, and there are a lot of fast boats out there,” he said.
Schoelkopf said that was a concern at this time of year with so many boats in the water. Sea life, such as baby dolphins, are active in the area.
“We’re picking them up almost every day off Cape May,” he said of the dead dolphins.
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