JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – A dwarf sperm whale has died after it was found washed ashore at Hanna Park on Wednesday morning indicating that “there is a problem.”
According to Nadia Gordon with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the whale was alive when it beached at the park. Gordon said “[the whale] is an off-shore pelagic species, so when this kind of whale beaches itself, ‘there is a problem.'”
After the FWC was notified about the whale by park staff, officials began working with the Jacksonville Zoo to help save and remove the beached animal. However, the FWC said the whale has since died and been removed from the beach.
Officials shared that the 7-foot-long whale showed no signs of a shark attack or boat collision and the wounds on the animal could be from stranding abrasions as the “pelagic species do strand.”
A necropsy will occur to determine the cause of death, the FWC said.
Oftentimes, these whales have been found with “human debris” in their systems. The FWC added, “it’s a reminder to be mindful of what you use…fewer single-use plastics, etc.”