A dead whale was discovered Thursday morning in Delray Beach at 240 South Ocean Boulevard.
A short time later, scientists were dispatched to aid a pigmy sperm whale that was found alive and stranded in shallow water, just south of Jensen Beach public beach park.
WPTV Facebook fan Kristy Lopp Smith Numbaonecoltsfan asked what many others are wondering.
"Is this due to the hurricanes?"
To try to get some answers, Newschannel 5 spoke with Steve McCulloch, founder and manager of the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program at Harbor Branch.
"There is a distinct possibility that the two beached whale incidents are related. We will try to determine that through examination," McCulloch said.
"Sometimes, a stranding event takes place because the animal is sick, weak or injured. This animal (the whale found in Jensen Beach) had no outward signs of trauma, other than a few cuts and abrasions from the surf. The conditions of the ocean may have contributed to a stranding event because if the animal is weak or sick, obviously swimming in bigger surf can be a more challenging environment. The way winds are blowing could bring them closer to shore than normal."
McCulloch also said that because the whale was still alive when they arrived, Dr. Julie Goldstein, Harbor Branch, was able to get blood samples to continue an advanced investigation.
WPTV Facebook fan Hilari Summerfield asked if the strandings had to do with oil.
"It's very unlikely that oil contaimated oil is a cause. That will be determined through analysis of blubber," said McCulloch.
If you would like to help this species, McCulloch suggests purchasing a speciality plate from your local tax collectors office.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company
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