Biologists to euthanize beached whale

January 1, 2008

Marine biologists monitoring a sperm whale stranded at the mouth of Florida's Tampa Bay say euthanizing it is the most humane option.

The 25- to 30-foot whale has been floating around the Pinellas coastline since at least Sunday, when a commercial fisherman spotted it, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.

The whale being in water less than 9 feet deep is often considered a sign of distress, biologists said. The group monitoring the whale decided Monday to euthanize the mammal after its breathing became labored.

Mote Marine Laboratory spokeswoman Nadine Slimak said it would be more humane to euthanize the animal than to let it die on its own. The whale beached itself Sunday but made it back to water Monday. Biologists then tried to move it to deeper water but it wouldn't swim away, the newspaper reported.

The whale wasn't exhibiting any visible signs of trauma, such as bleeding, officials said.

"It's just floating there," Slimak said. "It's not doing any of its normal actions."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Study shows declines in whales, fish, seabirds and large animals damages Earth's nutrient cycle

Related Stories

Antarctica's wildlife in a changing climate

October 27, 2015

Despite being one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth, Antarctica hosts a wealth of biodiversity, and its remoteness and extreme climate have lent a certain amount of protection to the many species that call ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain

November 24, 2015

A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.