A Mother Pygmy Whale and Calf Die After Washing Ashore in Jupiter
A pygmy sperm whale and her calf have died after washing ashore in Jupiter on Monday.
The mother whale was spotted on shore shortly after 4 p.m. north of the Jupiter Reef Club. Her calf was found some distance away, to the north near Carlin Park.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, the calf was eventually moved to be with its mother.
According to the FWC, the chances of survival once a whale hits the shore of a beach are very slim. The mother whale died while being watched over, but there was not much that could be done.
Soon after the mother died, officials decided to euthanize the calf, since it was too young to be set out on its own and would die without its mother.
"At that young age, we don't have facilities that can rehab these deep-ocean animals. It needs its mother, and the most humane thing you can do at that point is go ahead and euthanize," said John Cassady, a biologist for the FWC.
When the mother had died, the calf was humanely put down by a veterinarian from the Juno Beach-based Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
The dead whales were sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Miami to be examined. Officials said that there were no visible injuries to the whales and that it was too early to tell what exactly killed the mother.