Authorities Euthanize Mother Whale, Calf Stranded On Florida’s Neptune Beach

Two pygmy Sperm Whales beached on Florida’s Neptune Beach on Sunday have been euthanized, reports Action News Jax. According to the report, both the whales — believed to be a mother-calf duo — were euthanized after long efforts to rescue them failed. Authorities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that the two whales were stranded on Neptune Beach since Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning, volunteers from the FWC, Marine Mammal Response, Atlantic Beach Ocean Rescue and lifeguards responded to calls that informed them about the two whales that had beached on the shore. Upon inspection of the whales, it was deduced that the mother whale was most likely injured by a shark attack and was in poor health. The baby was only a few hours old and was most likely born earlier on Sunday morning, News4Jax reported. It is also plausible that the mother whale was attacked and injured by the shark while it was giving birth to its calf.

Injured mother whale at Neptune Beach

Eyewitness reports corroborated the shark attack theory and several people told reporters that the whale was attacked by a shark and that the calf had followed its injured mother towards the shore where both the mammals beached. A video has been uploaded to YouTube showing people tending to the beached whales.

Cheyanne Ruben from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission explained what may have possibly happened.

“What may have happened was the mother was giving birth this morning near shore and a shark was in the area. Witnesses did report to us seeing a commotion where the shark may have been interacting with the adult female.”

She added that a necropsy was performed on the two whales after they were euthanized. The decision to put the whales down was taken after due consideration, officials from the FWC added.

“It was ill-advised to put animals back in the water with a potential shark being there and a new neonate calf. There could have been other reasons why the adult stranded as well,” Ruben said.

Authorities added that the decision to euthanize both the mammals could have been taken because of the fact that they did not do well in captivity. That said, do you think authorities should have tried to at least save the baby whale?

The news about these two beached whales come just a few days after the Inquisitr reported about 100’s of whales beaching themselves in Japan.

[Images Via Action News JAX]