On Sunday there was a lot of commotion on the 114th Street beach in front of High Point North , when a beached female sperm whale was found alive around 7 a.m. When the lifeguard arrived on duty at 9:30 a.m., the call had already been made to numerous authorities. The guard on patrol said that when he got there the whale was “not looking good.”
According to CBS Local News, “The Marine Animal Rescue team from the National Aquarium in Baltimore was called to help with the whale. The rescuers arrived just before 11 a.m., however by 1:30 p.m. rescuers determined the whale had died.” An hour after the death, the whale was picked up by a forklift and carried uptown to 120th Street where it would be placed into a dumpster bin. Once placed into the bin, the whale was taken to the Public Works Complex on 65th Street where an autopsy would be completed.
A representative from the National Aquarium released a statement regarding the beached whale. “Aquarium veterinarians on scene have determined the juvenile sperm whale has died. Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will now take the lead, in cooperation with the Ocean City Police Department, in safely removing the animal from the beach. DNR will lead a team in performing a necropsy, an animal autopsy, to attempt to learn more about this animal and why it stranded.”
A Public Works employee said that the whale will be officially weighed when placed into the bin. He continued with claiming that during the autopsy “they will grab some of the organs out of it and take them back to the National Aquarium.” According to DNR officials, the whale was about 25 feet long.
Although the information received from the autopsy has not yet been released, Lori Westmoreland, a National Aquarium veterinarian said, “This whale had actually just died as we got on scene, and unfortunately, this animal was obviously very sick, ahead of stranding.”
Anyone who sees an animal in distress can call a trained wildlife first responder, including National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, at 866-755-6622, the National Aquarium stranding hotline at 410-373-0083 or Maryland Natural Resources Police at 800-628-9944.