Pygmy Sperm Whale Euthanized after Washing Ashore in South NJ

First Posted: Jan 22, 2013 05:11 AM EST

A pygmy sperm whale was euthanized in the early hours of Monday after it washed up on a beach at New Jersey.

Found stranded on the Malibu Beach in Egg Harbor Township, between Ocean city and Longport, the 10 foot whale was spotted in a very languid and injured state. Emergency personnel from Longport came immediately to rescue the mammal. Along with the locals, they managed to transfer the whale into a truck from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine.

Center Director Bob Schoelkopf was quoted in Oceancity.Patch as stating, "The sick whale was alive when it was being transported at around 11 am but later was euthanized. It was transported to the New Bolton Center of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy."

According to Schoelkopf, the whale's back has numerous incisions. It was not caused by the boat's propeller but by rocks and jetties when the sick animal rolled against it.

He states that the mature mammal should generally be feeding on squid in the deep ocean during this time of the year. It could be that the whale had heart problems of some kind that caused it become lethargic and float to shore. Heart problems are common in this species, reports Press of Atlancity.

Pygmy sperm whales can be traced in the waters of all sub-tropical, moderate and tropical waters. Stranding is common to this species. They are mostly seen stranded in some areas of southeast coast of the United States. The pygmy sperm shale is considered to be an endangered species.

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