- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

EAST MORICHES, N.Y. (AP) - Nearly 200 people gathered along the shore of Long Island’s Moriches (moh-RIH’-chihs) Bay this past weekend to memorialize a humpback whale that was recently euthanized.

The 33-foot-long mammal was euthanized by veterinarians last Wednesday after it was first spotted out in the bay on a sandbar in shallow water on Nov. 20.

The whale, which weighed between 15 and 20 tons, remained grounded for four days before the decision was made to end its life.

Mourners on Sunday tossed carnations into the bay near the Moriches Coast Guard station to honor the dead whale.

Many blamed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency for the whale’s death, citing a perceived delayed response.

The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Long Island nonprofit, has recommended the creation of a “whale rescue task force.”

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