Whale beached on Cape San Blas

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 09:42 AM.

Cunningham, who was one of the first people to arrive on the scene, found the whale on its side. She said that she rushed out into the cold, knee-deep water and rolled the animal over to uncover her blow hole, allowing the whale to breath.

“Once I rolled her over, it sounded like she was gasping,” said Cunningham.

Several more members of the turtle patrol arrived and used nylon straps to keep the whale’s head above water, preventing it from drowning.

The volunteers stayed in the frigid water, fighting cold temperatures and rain for several hours until Dr. Lydia Staggs from Gulf World Marine Institute arrived.

“Any stranding is due to the animal being sick or debilitated,” said Secret Holmes-Douglas, Director of animal care & training at GWMI.

After assessing the situation, Staggs, along with other GWMI researchers, made the decision to sedate and euthanize the whale.

It was removed from the beach with county equipment and transported to Alabama for necropsy and study.



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