Gulf World Marine Institute Stranding Team responded to a call from NOAA Fisheries on Tuesday morning around 6:30am. The call identified that there was an animal in distress on Santa Rosa Beach near Alligator Lake.
When the team arrived on scene they identified the animal as a male Short-finned Pilot Whale approximately eight and a half feet in length. This pelagic species (deep water animal) is commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico. Local Resident and Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge one of Gulf World’s stranding network partners where on scene to assist with the rescue. After Dr. Lydia Staggs, Gulf World’s resident veterinarian assessed the whale.
This animal was emaciated with labored breathing along with poor results from blood testing performed on site. After consulting with NOAA Fisheries it was determined that the animal was not a candidate for rehabilitation and was humanly euthanized. The animal will be necropsied by National Marine Fishers Service officials