FLORIDA — Florida wildlife officials are investigating the death of a female orca that beached Wednesday in Palm Coast, about 30 miles north of Daytona Beach.
“This is the first killer whale to strand in the southeastern United States, so there’s obviously a lot of interest in trying to sample her extensively and trying to determine why she might have been sick and why she stranded,” Erin Fougeres, Marine Mammal Stranding Program Administrator for the Southeast Region of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told CNN.
Fougere said the killer whale, or killer whale, was reported by a member of the public around dawn Wednesday morning.
He was still alive but died before the team arrived to help.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office posted photos and videos orcas on social media and urged people to avoid the area until it is removed.
Deputies closed the road leading to the area due to crowds of people going to see the whale. says Facebook.
Fougere said they are taking the animal to a lab for an autopsy, and it could take weeks or even months to determine why it became stranded.
“We have veterinarians and highly skilled biologists and pathologists who will be on site to perform a necropsy on the animal,” she said. “They’ll open up the whale and go through each organ system and see if there’s any major damage, anything obviously wrong with the various organ systems, and they’ll take extensive samples from the whale, which they’ll then send to a lab or several laboratories for analysis”.
Killer whales are the largest representatives of the dolphin family and the main predator of the ocean, according to the NOAA Fisheries website.
According to the agency, there are about 50,000 killer whales worldwide, and they live in all the world’s oceans.
Fougere said killer whales do make it to U.S. waters in the Southeast, but “it’s pretty rare.”
The southeastern region extends from the coast of North Carolina to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and west to Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.
The-CNN-Wire & 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Company. Discovery. All rights reserved.
Palm Coast| Killer whale dies after washing up on Florida beach
Source link Palm Coast| Killer whale dies after washing up on Florida beach