A 25-ton male humpback whale washed up dead on a sandbar off Long Beach Island, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center said.
Bob Schoelkopf, the center’s director, said the cause of the 35-foot whale’s death has not been determined.
Schoelkopf said there was no indication the whale was struck by a boat.
He said the center initially wanted to move the whale off the sandbar, which is near Holgate and about two miles north of Brigantine.
“We couldn’t find a boat willing to tow it,” Schoelkopf said.
It would have been a difficult mission because of the sandbar’s location and rough water in the area, he added.
So, for now, the whale will stay on the sandbar, but there’s a chance it could wash up on a nearby uninhabited island or even end up on the beach in Brigantine, according Schoelkopf.
“If that happens, we’ll take what steps we need to dispose of it,” he said.
Schoelkopf said he learned of the beached whale Thursday after a woman from Florida called to report it after seeing a photograph on social media.
U.S. Coast Guard personnel stationed in Atlantic City transported members from the center to the hard-to-reach sandbar, Schoelkopf said.
They took samples from the whale to test its DNA and find out more about where it came from, he added.