Conservationists found widespread bruising on a 37-foot humpback whale that was beached in Westhampton this week.
The whale was found dead on Sunday and examined by the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
“Some of the things that we are able to determine from these examinations is whether or not the mortality might be a natural mortality, whether it be disease or age, or just a failure to thrive. Or it could have a connection to human interaction,” said Kimberly Durham, the society’s necropsy program director.
Durham says bruising and skull fractures indicate a boat may have hit the whale, but there needs to be more analysis to be certain.
Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation blessed the whale with sage in a ceremony. The whale was buried at Cupsogue Beach County Park, where it washed ashore.