Whale beached on Cape San Blas

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

Cunningham said that shark bites were found on the whale and euthanizing the animal was the most humane decision.

“She died a much better death this way,” said Cunningham. “If we’d gotten her back out into the water, sharks would have eaten her.

“This was a much better outcome than suffering in the water.”

Beaked whales are the members of the family Ziphiidae which consists of 21 species. These toothed whales are notable for their elongated beaks.

Beaked whales are deep divers and regularly dive deeper than 500 meters to echolocate for food. They spend much of their lives below water.

“If you see a stranded animal, immediately call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline,” said Holmes-Douglas. “Never push an animal back into the water -- they are stranded for a reason.”

Any stranded animals should be reported immediately by calling 888-404-3922.



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