Rare whale washes ashore in Island Beach State Park

     Photo courtesy of American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

    Photo courtesy of American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

    A rare whaled has washed ashore dead in Ocean County’s Island Beach State Park.

    Bob Schoelkopf, the founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, says the 15-foot Blainesville’s beaked whale weighing close to 800 pounds is a unique species.

    It’s only the second time in more than four decades that Schoelkopf’s organization has discovered this type of whale in New Jersey.

    In 1989, the center recovered a dead Blainesville’s beaked whale found in Morganville, Monmouth County. Its skull can be seen at the center’s museum. 

    “This type of whale, with a dolphin-like beak, is known to dive to great depths in search of food, usually squid. They spend most of their lives at extreme depths and because of this, they are hard to observe,” he said in a release.

    The decomposing whale was first spotted floating off the state park near Barnegat Bay wetlands. There’s no obvious cause of death.

    The center also responded to a dead dolphin off Sandy Hook last week. 

    The organization relies solely on donations for its rescues and rehabilitation services. Anyone interested in donating can visit www.mmsc.org

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