Whale washes ashore on Treasure Coast

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Scientists have scheduled a necropsy for a whale that beached itself on the Treasure Coast.

It appeared to be recently deceased.

Steve McCulloch of Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Institute says it's a beaked whale and little is known about the species.

"Very mysterious, low abundance and only four of the 21 species of beaked whales have been well documented," says McCulloch.

A front-end loader was used to move the whale from the South Beach area of Fort Pierce beach to a dump truck.

It was transported to the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute where researchers will perform a necropsy.

"From the teeth, we can look at their age, we can determine sex," says McCulloch.  "From their stomach contents, we can determine diet and from their blubber, we can look at toxicology, we can look at contaminates and we can look at various aspects of their health and learn a great deal about these animals."

If you spot a wild animal dead or in distress, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Alert Hotline at (888) 404-FWCC.


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