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Entangled in Fishing Line, Humpback Whale Found Dead on NY Beach

Oct 02, 2013 04:45 PM EDT
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A humpback whale entangled in fishing line was found dead on the shore of a suburban New York beach Tuesday. 

Newsday reports that the incident is being investigated as a "fisheries incident" and that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will get involved once the federal government shutdown comes to an end.

The origin of the fishing line that killed the whale was unclear. 

The whale was found by a surfer just east of Gilgo Beach on Long Island. It was the second humpback whale to wash ashore on Long Island this year, said Kimberly Durham, rescue program director for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

The 20-ton whale displayed wounds consistent with the trauma of being caught in fishing nets. It was buried on site, The Associated Press reported. Humpback whales are on New York state and federal endangered species lists. 

Humpback whales frequently get entangled in fishing lines. Earlier this year, a humpback spent more than a week ensnared in fishing lines off the coast of Alaska. A NOAA Fisheries rescue team spent a week amid rough seas disentangling the whale, though when it was able to swim free, a mass of fishing line was still wrapped around its body.

The whale wash up was not the only odd instance of an animal being out of place Tuesday.

In British Colombia, a 9-month-old black bear climbed an electrical pole and had to be shot with a tranquilizer and relocated to a wildlife sanctuary.

"The little bruin had been straddling the exposed crossbar of the windswept pole since Monday and there were concerns it could not get down on its own or would receive a fatal shock if it touched live wires just centimeters away," the Canadian Press reported.

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