A humpback whale has washed ashore on the southern end of Island Beach State Park in New Jersey last weekend.
The whale was first found beached alive on Saturday but by Sunday, it had passed away. According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the whale died after a propeller cut through its spine when it was hit by a boat .
Since 2016, dozens of humpback whales have been found dead or stranded along East Coast beaches, prompting federal officials to declare “unusual mortality events”because of the high number that remain under investigation.
Just 30 miles north of that humpback, a different group of beachgoers found another marine animal that had washed ashore. This time, it appeared to be a leatherback sea turtle that had been hit by a boat.
Humpback whales are common in New Jersey’s waters, but are at risk, according to the foundation. They are susceptible to colliding with ships, as well as overfishing, pollution, aquaculture and offshore energy development, according to the organization.