50,000 Pound Whale Found Dead, Beached In Florida

Image not from story (Photo by DICKY BISINGLASI/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A sperm whale was reportedly found dead Sunday after beaching itself in Florida.

Officials told the public to avoid Service Club Park beach in Venice because of the beached whale, which ended up about 50 yards offshore, according to Fox 13 News.

The whale was extremely underweight and struggling to survive while it was stuck out of the water, the outlet reported. The marine mammal weighed between 50,000 and 70,000 pounds and was 44 feet long, according to Gretchen Lovewell, the Mote Marine Laboratory stranding investigations program manager.

Crews conducted a necropsy of the whale Monday afternoon, according to the outlet. Lovewell explained that the necropsy would be done on the whale’s side so they could gain access to the animal’s stomach. Crews also attempted to obtain samples from the whale, but their efforts were thwarted when they failed to move it on the beach as far as they wanted.

“Throughout that process, there will be a number of bodily fluids going out into the water, and we really want to encourage people to avoid the water. We are concerned about predations. So, for human safety, if people can avoid the water that would be great,” Lovewell said.

Those conducting the necropsy were worried about the whale’s tail detaching, prompting them to pull the whale up by its head. Using the sand, crews gently rolled the whale over on its side, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Video Shows Dozens Of Trapped Whales Attempt To Escape Drift Ice)

“We’ll do a ton of measurements, we’ll do a bunch of external photographs and then we’ll actually start to go in systematically and do the necropsy,” Lovewell said. “We’ll look at every organ system we can get access to.”

Sperm whales are an endangered species. Lovewell mentioned that they only get two whales per year in the entire Gulf Coast, stating that the last sperm whale was seen in 2008.