MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) say a sperm whale beached itself in the shallow waters off the shore of Madeira Beach on Thursday morning.
A NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman said sperm whales are a deep water species and should not be here. She said the fact that it beached itself is a sign that something is seriously wrong.
The whale, about 30 feet long, was described as being in very bad shape. People and boaters were being kept away from the animal to keep it from becoming further stressed.
Wildlife officials were waiting for tide to go down to approach the whale. The animal will then be sedated and euthanized.
The whale will later be towed to another area for a thorough necropsy to determine how it became ill.