JUPITER (CBSMiami) – The bodies of two pygmy sperm whales, who died after washing ashore in South Florida, were sent to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility in Miami for necropsies.
So far, it’s not known why the mother whale died after she washed ashore Monday evening near Carlin Park in Jupiter.
The mother’s calf also washed ashore after it followed the mother onto the sand.
Witnesses tried to help and put the mother back into the water but she only beached herself again.
The calf was then brought right next to the mother to reduce stress. Crews poured water over the whales to try to keep them cool but the mother whale died on the sand.
The calf was humanely euthanized because it was simply too young to survive on its own and could not be rehabilitated in a facility because it is a deep water species, according to FWC officials.
The mother whale was about 10 feet long and estimated at close to 1,500 pounds. The calf was just under 6 feet long and weighed about 400 pounds.
Pygmy whales do not do well in captivity; most die shortly after they are rescued either from dehydration or dietary issues.