70-foot whale beached off Florida's Gulf Coast

Beached whale on Venice Beach..jpg
Posted at 11:53 AM, Mar 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 23:47:30-04

VENICE, Fla. — Authorities were working to assist a beached sperm whale that is stranded on a sandbar off Florida's Gulf Coast on Sunday morning.

The Venice Police Department said in a Facebook post that the whale is about 50 feet long and 50,000-70,000 pounds. It beached on a sandbar that is about 50 yards from Service Club Park. A police Facebook post earlier Sunday had said the whale was 70 feet.

WFTS posted video at the beach, which is about 75 miles south of Tampa.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office and staff from Mote Marine Laboratory were also assisting, the post said.

Beached whale at Venice Beach. March 10, 2024.png
Beached whale at Venice Beach.

Due to high winds and surf, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation biologists have determined that a response Monday with weather conditions more favorable will be their best option. As of Sunday evening, the whale was still alive, but had labored breathing.

Police said they would be present at the beach through the night.

Police have closed the entrance to Service Club Park while Mote Marine and FWC works to assess the whale’s situation.