FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. — Scientists have identified the right whale found dead in New York waters Monday to be an older male named Snake Eyes, who had been spotted entangled in Canadian waters a month ago.
The extremely decomposed carcass was reported floating Monday about 4 miles south of Fire Island off Long Island, New York. It was towed to Jones Beach on Tuesday, where scientists conducted a post-mortem exam Wednesday.
It will take scientists several days to study the samples and test results to see if they can determine a cause of death, said a spokesman for the fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But NOAA noted Snake Eyes was last seen entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Aug. 6. A month earlier, he had been seen swimming in the same area, off the coast of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, free of gear.
Severe weather and winds prevented whale rescue teams from reaching Snake Eyes in August, Canadian authorities said.
Snake Eyes, named for two white scars on his head that looked like eyes, measured 45 feet in length and was at least 40 years old, having first been sighted on Jeffreys Ledge in the western Gulf of Maine in 1979.