KEY LARGO (CBS4) – The last of nearly two dozen pilot whales that became stranded off the Florida Keys last May will not be released back into the wild because it has developed scoliosis.
Erin Fougeres, an administrator with the National Marine Fisheries Service, told The Key West Citizen the whale developed the condition while being treated at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo. She says it is common during rehabilitation.
The whale, a female adult, also still has some lingering effects of pneumonia.
Fougeres says officials are concerned the whale would not be able to dive or forage for food.
Instead, the mammal will likely go to a facility such as SeaWorld.
A calf has already been sent there. The adult is the last of the whales at the rehabilitation facility.
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