Beached Sperm Whale Off Florida Couldn't Be Saved

The 44-foot male appeared underweight
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2024 2:10 PM CDT
Sperm Whale Dies After Beaching on Florida Coast
This photo shows a beached sperm whale on Sunday off of Venice, Florida. The whale died early Monday.   (City of Venice, Florida via AP)

A sperm whale that became famous after beaching itself on a sandbar along Florida's Gulf Coast died Monday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement. As the AP reports, police and wildlife officials began trying to free the male whale from the shallow sandbar off the beach in Venice on Sunday morning. They had estimated him to be about 70 feet long, but biologists confirmed Monday that he was actually 44 feet long, the agency said. He weighed an estimated 25 to 35 tons.

By Sunday evening, the whale was suffering from labored breathing; he died around 3am Monday. The biologists had a difficult time helping him Sunday because of water conditions. Per WFLA, the whale looked underweight, suggesting he was in poor health. Officials were looking to secure a rope around the whale's tail to tow him to shore for a necropsy. Biologists will collect samples to determine the cause of death, which could take several weeks.

(More sperm whale stories.)

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