JENSEN BEACH, Fla. - Two pygmy sperm whales - mother and calf - beached themselves in Jensen Beach just north of Waveland Beach in St. Lucie County Sunday afternoon, said Steve McCulloch, founder and manager of the Harbor Branch Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program.
McCulloch said that pygmy sperm whales are the second-most common marine mammals, after bottlenose dolphins, to beach themselves. They use Florida waters for feeding, migration and reproduction.
"Unfortunately when these animals hit the beach is because they are suffering from some kind of illness or injuries or, in this case, complications with the calf," McCulloch said.
A team from Harbor Branch will assess the health of the whales and transport them to Harbor Branch where the whales "will be quarantined in order to give them the best chance of survival," he said.