Animals and Insects

Sperm whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline has died

Despite efforts to rescue him, he was struggling to breathe and passed away at around 3 a.m. on Monday.

Authorities working to assist a beached sperm whale stranded on a sandbar off Florida's Gulf Coast.
Authorities working to assist a beached sperm whale stranded on a sandbar off Florida's Gulf Coast.
City of Venice Florida via AP
SMS

The sperm whale that beached itself off the coast of Venice in southwest Florida on Sunday has died.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the whale, measuring about 44 feet in length and weighing up to 70,000 pounds, was stranded on a sandbar off Venice Beach. Despite efforts to rescue him, he was struggling to breathe and passed away at around 3 a.m. on Monday.

“Obviously this whale wasn't, you know, feeling very well and wasn't doing very well to be this close to shore and in this kind of condition,” said NOAA Chief of Marine Mammal Branch Laura Engleby during a press conference Monday. “The whale looks very thin, and so certainly we'll be, you know, investigating as much as we can to understand what contributed to its death.”

Due to its size, heavy equipment is required to remove the whale for a necropsy, which will be conducted once it's brought to the beach. Additionally, local authorities have closed the surrounding areas and issued a no swim advisory for the day due to possible increased predation activity.

Sperm whales are classified as endangered in the U.S. and are rarely sighted in the region, according to Engleby, marking this presence as a "rare event." The last recorded sperm whale stranding along the Gulf happened in 2008.

Large whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline
Large whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline

Large whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline

A sperm whale beached itself off the coast of Venice in Southwest Florida on Sunday as local authorities tried to assess the mammal's condition.

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