Dead whale washes ashore at end of LaGuardia Airport runway

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- A dead whale washed ashore in Flushing Bay Thursday afternoon, ending up at the foot of the LaGuardia Airport runway near the "Welcome to New York" sign.

There is no word on the cause of death for the 15-foot minke whale, which was discovered on the embankment leading up to runway 1331, one of two intersecting runways at airport.

The whale was floated by high tide and moved off airport property Friday, with the Army Corps of Engineers hooking chains around its tail and fin before dragging it back into the bay.

They plan to move the whale to an Army Corps Mooring Buoy in New York Harbor.

The Riverhead Foundation hopes to perform a necropsy to determine what killed the whale, but a full necropsy may not be logistically possible.

"To actually have a whale at this location is a new location," the foundation's Kimberly Durham said. "It's certainly in proximity to Port Authority and operations that go there. There's a lot of things that have to be taken into consideration, and we'll be working with the Port Authority to see what we can do regarding this carcass."

The weight of the species is usually 5 to 6 tons, smaller than a humpback whale.
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