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Necropsies performed on two whales that washed ashore in St. Augustine at Anastasia State Park

9:06 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Necropsies have been performed on the pygmy sperm whales that beached themselves Sunday at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine.

According to Nadia Gordon, a marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the pair was a mother and calf.

The mother died and the calf was still nursing and dependent on its mother, according to Gordon.

Gordon said so that the calf wouldn't suffer, the calf was humanely euthanized.

Pygmy sperm whale calves are especially difficult to rehabilitate, and when a calf is orphaned it magnifies these issues if released into the wild, Gordan said.

According to George Biedenbach with the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station in Marineland, the preliminary necropsy did not produce any significant results, but he will know more once he gets the test results back from tissue samples taken. He says that will take at least two months. 

People on the beach first saw the two pygmy sperm whales and notified authorities.

Personnel with FWC and the Georgia Aquarium responded to the scene.

Gordon said it's common for pygmy sperm whales to strand on Florida beaches.

If you ever see animals beached on the shore, call the F-W-C hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

First Coast News

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