11:26 a.m.: The emails, texts and calls came with a fury this morning, talking about the stranded whale off of the beach in Lord’s Point.
There are traces of life and death everywhere when you grow up near the ocean. Kids go crabbing near Stonington Point, fishing boats go to sea bringing back scallops and other delicacies and the smell of lobster pots is forever present during the summer. And sometimes animals wash ashore.
But when there are messages, tweets and news about a stranded animal it’s normally about a seal or a sea turtle. Neighbors in Lord’s Point couldn’t remember ever hearing about a whale becoming stranding here.
It’s not clear how the young humpback whale ended up off the James Street Beach or when it died, but as most of the Lord’s Point community gathered around the beached whale they tried to determine what had happened.
Some residents thought it must have come from Block Island, while others reported getting calls about the whale from people who saw it off of Watch Hill. And others thought a boat had hit the whale.
Humpback whales, according to National Geographic, generally grow to be about 48 to 62.5 feet in length. The whale off or Lord's Point appeared to be much smaller causing some people to call it baby. National Geographic, however, states that humpback whales grow until they reach the age of ten. They are protected creatures.
Many locals came to the beach at first hoping the whale was still alive, but after realizing the whale was dead some turned to walk away saying they didn't want to see it while others used it as a learning opportunity.
"...not everyday you get to see a baby humpback whale that close," Wendy Bury said on the Stonington Facebook page.
took one of their summer marine science classes to see the whale. On their Facebook page they posted photographs and facts about the whale.
"The whale is lying on its back, and the large matter to the right is its tongue, NESS wrote. "Gasses inside the whale are keeping it afloat."
The ’s Animal Rescue Team was at the beach this morning evaluating the situation and is expected to perform an autospy on the whale. At the beach, aquarium staff answered questions from locals.
"How very sad," MaryLys Jackson said on the Stonington Facebook page echoing the comments of many on the beach.
If you encounter a marine mammal or sea turtle in Connecticut, Rhode Island or Fishers Island, New York the Mystic Aquarium requests you call their 24-hour hotline at 860-572-5955.
Check back for more information.
10:03 a.m.: A stranded whale died near the James Street Beach in Lord’s Point this morning.
Residents reported hearing about the whale as far away as Watch Hill, and believed it had been hit by boat before slowly making it’s way to the beach in Lord’s Point.
Members of the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue team are evaluating the situation to decide how to remove the animal.