Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A big whale got stuck on the shore in Florida’s Gulf Coast and sadly, it didn’t make it, according to officials

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A big whale got stuck near Venice, Florida, and unfortunately, it didn’t make it, as officials shared on Monday.

People from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are going to check out what happened by doing a special checkup on the whale. This male whale was about 70,000 pounds and 44 feet long.

A group from different agencies, like NOAA, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Mote Marine Lab, is waiting for some heavy machines to help them move the whale to the beach for the checkup. Laura Engleby from NOAA talked about it in a meeting on Monday.

The park in Venice where they found the whale is closed, and the city says it’s not safe to swim in areas close to Venice Beach.

The whale was not in good shape, being thin and close to the shore, which means it wasn’t healthy. The team wants to figure out what made it die.

They’ll take measurements, pictures, and look inside the whale before sending some pieces to labs for analysis. Engleby said we might know some things soon, but other results might take months because the whale is so big.

Because the whale is huge, testing might take the whole day, Engleby said.

The whale has been stuck since Saturday morning, not far from the park.

Sperm whales are in danger of disappearing, and this is not something that happens a lot. Engleby said they usually see about two sperm whales stuck each year in the southeastern US, which includes the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The last time a sperm whale got stuck in the Gulf of Mexico was in 2008.

Sperm whales like living in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico all year round, but they usually stay far away in really deep water. They like to dive down thousands of feet to get their food, mostly squid. So, we don’t usually see them, Engleby said.

On Sunday, police said they were trying to give some medicine to the whale, but it was too dangerous because of the water conditions.

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