PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - Two men fishing Monday near the Jetty Park boat ramp found a beached whale.
"They stood by and took care of it until we got there," said Megan Stolen, marine biologist for Hubbs SeaWorld.
Skywitness 9HD was over the scene, where the whale was in the water with what appeared to be a large abrasion on its head.
"It was very weak and emaciated. It had very wet sounding breathes and difficulty breathing. In this species, a lot of time, they die of heart failure," said University of Florida veterinarian Craig Pelton said.
Officials with the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute said the adult pygmy sperm whale wedged itself into some rocks, making the rescue more difficult than if it had floated onto the shore.
"I hope they can save it, whatever's wrong with it," said visitor Sherree Smith. "Just about an hour ago, we were just up there along the fence and didn't notice anything. Then saw the helicopters hovering over, so that's what caught our attention.”
Officials said the whale was about 8 feet long.
"They beach themselves because they're dying. It's not a purposeful act. They can't swim. It's basically just a dying whale," said Stolen. "Unfortunately, we'll have to euthanize it. It's in very bad condition."
FWC, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the rescue effort.
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