Thursday, 13 October 2011

Beached whale dies in Florida

JUPITER ISLAND, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A whale that beached itself on Jupiter Island, Fla., died after numerous attempts to save it, officials said.

"It was just taking a beating in the shoreline," said Jupiter Island Public Safety Director Ted Gonzales. "Rolling in the heavy surf and getting sandblasted like it was."

The 9- to 10-foot-long whale came ashore Wednesday morning, reported.

Officials tied a rope to the whale and used a boat to pull it out to sea several times.

Tom Reinert, Fish and Wildlife research administrator, said the whale, believed to be a pygmy sperm whale or a dwarf sperm whale, was probably sick.

"A lot of people think, 'Well we've got to get it back out into the water. It's because of the tide,'" he said. "Nine times out of 10, it's not the tide, the animal is sick."

The whale's carcass will be brought to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Fla., for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

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