Dead whale on New York City beach was likely hit by boat

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A whale that washed up dead on Coney Island Monday was likely killed during a collision with a boat before it ended up on the beach.

The adult female minke whale was found at noon on the sand at the end of Ocean Parkway, officials told DNAInfo New York.

The 20-foot mammal was dead by the time it washed up, according to Kim Durham, program director for the Riverhead Foundation, who performed a necropsy late Monday. After an hours-long examination, Durham and her team determined that the adult whale was killed by a boat within the last two days, she said.

Minke whales are not uncommon in the waters off New York City, but it’s rare for one to wash up on Coney Island, Durham said. Whales have washed up in Rockaway, including one on the bay side of Breezy Point in 2012.

The minke whale is the third dead whale to beach along the coast of Long Island in the first six months of this year, which “seems like a lot,” Durham said. By comparison, only three dead whales were reported in all of 2014, she said.

Efforts to clean up the waters around New York City have allowed animals to venture closer to the shores of the five boroughs, resulting in more sightings of dolphins and whales.