Image courtesy of High Point South Condominium, Ocean City, Maryland

Juvenile Sperm Whale beaches itself in Ocean City, dies hours later

By: David M. Higgins II

Ocean City, MD- On a weekend billed as one of the biggest Bikefests’ on the easter Shore, Ocean City had another sight to see. A juvenile sperm whale beached itself near the High Point Condominiums early Sunday Monday.

From reports on Facebook posts by many individuals in the area at the time of finding the whale, many people tried to help push it back into the ocean. They were unsuccessful and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Town of Ocean City Police cordoned off the area and the staff from the National Aquarium was called in.

Images above courtesy of High Point South Condominium, Ocean City, Maryland Facebook.

However by the time this all happened, around 1:30 p.m., an aquarium statement was released, and stated the following:

“Aquarium veterinarians on the scene have determined the juvenile sperm whale has died. Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will now take lead, in cooperation with the Ocean City Police Department, in safely removing the animal from the beach. DNR will lead a team in performing a necropsy, an animal autopsy, to attempt to learn more about this animal and why it stranded.

As you can imagine, this has been a challenging day for not only Aquarium responders and partners, but all those on the beach throughout the morning. We thank everyone for their support and concern.

Whenever you see an animal like this in distress, the best thing you can do is give it space and immediately contact a trained wildlife first responder. NOAA’s number is 866-755-6622, The NA stranding hotline is 410-373-0083 or MDNR Police 1-800-628-9944. Our teams are on call 24/7 to respond to these events.”

Above images via The Dispatch(Chris Parypa Photography and Patrick O’Toole)

Shortly after the release of the statement, officials began making and executing plans to remove the whale. The whale is being sent t a location for the staff from the National Aquarium to perform a necropsy and determine the cause of death.

The National Aquarium staff is the lead responder for live whale/cetacean strandings in Maryland. A report will be made public after all the testing has been done and researched.

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