Flagler Beach police released a video of one of its officers and several residents struggling to save a baby sperm whale that beached itself on the shore Wednesday evening.
Despite their efforts, the whale calf died soon after it washed ashore and has been sent to nearby Marineland, where its marine researchers will conduct a necropsy.
According to police in the Volusia County city, the one- or two-day-old whale was 12 feet long and weighed about 1,000 lbs.
“It had beached itself and was clearly in distress,” Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. “Unfortunately it didn’t survive, but kudos to the citizens who tried to help.”
Officials expressed surprise that the whale wound up on shore in Flagler Beach, since whales prefer deeper water far from shore. But something could have happened to the mother soon after, or during, the birth that caused her to lose contact with her newborn.