Yesterday morning, a whale washed ashore at Beach 216th Street & Palmer Drive in Breezy Point, Queens, driving concerned residents, rescue groups and local firefighters out to try to help it. Eventually, it was established that the 60-foot finback whale was very emaciated and sick, and there was little that could be done to save it. And very sadly, Riverhead Foundation executive director Rob DiGiovanni told the Observer it's believed to have died last night: “As of right now, the animal was lost last night,” DiGiovanni said. “It looks like it moved a little off the shore, relocated and it does appear to be dead.”

The NY Times noted that the whale was still on the beach (though it moved a bit because of the storm and tide) as of 10 a.m. this morning. They added that even if the whale turns out to still be alive as of 1 p.m., rescuers plan to euthanize it to save it from anymore pain. But DiGiovanni tells the Times, "We can basically say that it’s dead."

But it seems there really wasn't much that could be done for the whale otherwise: “It did present itself as a severely emaciated animal,” DiGiovanni explained to The Observer. “I don’t think it was the case that it was stuck on the beach.It was sick and it was in the process of dying. It didn’t move far because it didn’t have any of the energy to do that.”

DiGiovanni told CBS that it was not entirely uncommon for whales to be found on local beaches: “We know that we have them year-round. It becomes more uncommon to have them wash up sick or injured on our beaches, but we still get a handful. Over the last 10 years we’ve probably had two dozen animals that have washed up,” he said.

Louis Bassolino, 66, was walking the beach looking for his boat (that was lost in Hurricane Sandy) when he spotted the whale around 8 a.m. yesterday: "I saw just the top of it. It looked like a capsized upside-down boat. I thought maybe it's my boat," Bassolino told the Post. "Then I saw the tail jump up out of the water, and the spout of water. I realized it was a whale." You can see video of him and his family trying to throw water on the mammal.

Locals like Jack Cameron brought his 6-year-old son, Avery, to see the stranded whale as well: “You know, it’s sad to see but again, part of nature and my son wants to be a marine biologist, talk about botany and things of that nature, and I thought this would be a great real-life experience,” the father told CBS.

The Times adds that it will be difficult dealing with the body. Mendy Garron, a marine-mammal rescue coordinator with the National Marine Fisheries Service, noted that after the whale is necropsied (which it presumably will be), its body will be so carved up that towing it to sea and dumping it won't be possible. In 1964, a 52-foot finback corpse was towed 35 miles out to sea, fitted with 500 pounds of explosives, and blown up. But Garron says that won't happen for this poor whale.