Beached fin whale at Delaware Seashore State Park
A whale washed up along the beach in Delaware near the Indian River Inlet on Sunday, the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute said.

The MERR Institute said the mammal is a "fin whale," which is the second-largest whale species on earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The mammal is about 50 feet long, the MERR Institute said.

According to the MERR Institute, the whale was "extremely emaciated," which means it was suffering from a "long-term underlying condition."

Fin whales are an off-shore species, according to the MERR Institute, and "would not normally come near shore unless they are becoming so weak that they can no longer surface to breathe."

The MERR Institute said the whale that washed up near the Indian River Inlet was in the process of dying.

"Our hope was to be able to safely get close enough to it to sedate it to ease its suffering but unfortunately the water level and waves made it too treacherous for our responders to do that safely for the whale or for them," the MERR Institute wrote on Facebook in part.