This past weekend revealed some grisly surprises for residents of two Long Island beach communities. Officials at two different beaches reported beached whales on their shores, with sightings just a few hours apart. A deceased whale was found in Napeague Sunday morning, while another very sick whale washed ashore not far away in Amagansett and had to later be euthanized. The incidents aren’t thought to be connected, but the coincidence has area marine researchers wondering if local whales are in danger.

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Napeague locals were surprised to find an enormous 59-foot finback whale on the beach early Sunday morning. The whale, already dead, appeared emaciated, but the cause of death was not obvious.

Over in Amagansett, the second whale had a much more subtle presence than the first, measuring only five feet in length. Still alive, the young pygmy sperm whale appeared to have severe skin lesions and was sickly. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation examined the whale, and decided to euthanize the creature, saying it was too sick to make it.

Further examinations of each whale will be performed today, with full necropsy reports expected for later this week. The Riverhead Foundation does not link the two incidents, but full reports will either deny or confirm if their proximity is more than coincidental.

Via Yahoo News

Images via Wikimedia Commons