Experts looking into sperm whale death
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A sperm whale that died at sea washed ashore in South Florida Monday morning.
Now experts are looking into how the whale died and what role a curious swimmer may have played. State wildlife and local officials, along with a many curious members of the public surrounded the whale all morning long. It wound up beached below a pier, early Monday morning.
Marine mammal experts plan to perform a full necropsy to figure out exactly what killed this whale and caused it to wash ashore.
NOAA Marina Mammal Stranding Coordinator Liz Stratton said, "She's skinny. She doesn't have as much blubber, body fat, as she should. You can see her ribs through her skin. That's not a natural state for a healthy sperm whale. So we can already tell there is something off kilter about this. What that cause might be, at this point, we can't speculate.
They believe this is the same whale seen struggling in the surf off shore in Pompano Beach on Sunday. There were reports of people swimming out to the whale and even climbing on it, as it died. Experts warn these people committed a federal offense. It is a crime to harm an endangered species whether it is alive or dead. These people could face charges.
Officials now have to figure out how to remove the whale from the scene. They have brought out cranes to try to lift the animal from the beach, but those attempts have been unsuccessful. They are considering bringing in a barge to haul it away, so marine mammal experts can perform that necropsy.
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