11/24/2016 08:26 EST

Humpback Whale Euthanized After Being Stranded Off Long Island

A humpback whale was euthanized Thursday after it was stranded for days in the shallow waters of Moriches Bay off the coast of Long Island.

The whale was "minimally responsive" and had signs of "neurological abnormalities and extensive skin injuries with evidence of infection" a veterinary team told CNN.

Veterinarians had been hoping for a high tide for the animal to free itself, but it didn't happen in time.

Residents told abc7NY that at night they could hear the 18-tonne mammal crying.

Environmentalists were disappointed in the result. Many suggested that the whale could have been saved if the government had responded more quickly.

“I’m not only sad, I’m angry,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, according to the National Post.

Although it's somewhat rare to see humpbacks in the New York area, it's not unheard of. One was spotted last week near the George Washington Bridge.

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