Heartbreaking Moment as Surfers and Construction Workers Try to Save Massive Baby Whale That Washed Ashore on NY Beach
The female sperm whale was 3 to 5-years-old.
Sperm Whales, the largest toothed whale and toothed predator on the planet, are incredible specimens. With females weighing an average of 31,000 pounds and males, a whopping 90,000, encountering one of the 52-foot specimens in the wild is an overwhelming experience. While the whales generally stay deep in the ocean due to their size, sometimes they get a little too close to shore. This week, a baby sperm whale washed up onshore in New York, and despite efforts, a group of animal lovers weren't able to save its life.
The young female sperm whale washed up on Rockaway Beach at 73 St. & Broadway beach in Queens, New York, on Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. Surfers and construction workers banded together in hopes of saving the beautiful creature. However, the whale sadly passed away. Keep reading to learn more and see the video of the action.
Construction workers, who were building a seawall in the area, were the first to discover the large mammal. "A couple of my guys were walking out to the field where their work detail is and they came back in and told me there's a beached whale out there," job site superintendent Anthony Rossitto told New York Post. "It still looked like it was flailing. It was alive."
The group immediately contacted the Parks Department, NYPD, and Department of Environmental Conservation. However, instead of waiting for help to arrive, the construction workers and nearby surfers did everything they could to save the young whale.
"A bunch of surfers were in the area and they jumped in the water and tried to turn it around," Rossitto told The Post. "But it's 35 foot. I can only imagine how much it weighs. They just couldn't get it turned around and get it back out." The calf was likely between three and five years-old and was "upright…and breathing" but was definitely in "distress," with multiple scrapes and bruises, likely banged up against jetty stones, said a park ranger.
The construction workers attempted to lash a heavy rope to the whale to pull it. However, the whale was too heavy. "We did our best. The surfers really tried, but they're no match for a 35-foot whale," Rossitto said. "It's a sad day," one of the surfers told the publication. The whale's death was confirmed by the NYPD. An Emergency Services Unit team and a Harbor unit was sent to the scene.