A photographer taking aerial pictures last week discovered a dead whale on an offshore sandbar.
Ted Kingston posted on his Facebook page that he was above Holgate in Long Beach Island when he spotted the whale on a sandbar just southeast of the island’s southern tip.
Marine experts say there’s no apparent cause of death for the 35-foot, 25-ton humpback whale, which did not have any obvious marks that could lend clues.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) says it’s too dangerous to move the whale and that boaters should avoid the surrounding waters due to treacherous conditions.
MMSC founder Bob Schoelkopf tells NBC10 that federal officials are concerned about recent whale deaths off the East Coast, where about 50 humpbacks were discovered dead since last year. They’re working to determine if there’s a common link.
In New Jersey, the latest dead whale discovery joins three others since the fall, including a rare 15-foot Blainesville’s beaked whale that recently washed ashore in Island Beach State Park.