The whale is part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales. It was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded at Breezy Point, a Queens community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the Jamaica Bay water. The whale drifted out of sight at high tide and came ashore dead Thursday.
Marine officials said Friday the whale was malnourished and had lesions in its stomach and kidneys. The cause of its death won't be determined until testing comes back on tissue samples.
The whale is being buried.