Officials have euthanized a beached sperm whale off the shore near John's Pass. The whale was given a sedative first.
"The animal is in extremely poor body condition, listed as emaciated, prior to death at this stage," said Dr. Mike Walsh, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. "The fact that it came to shore basically means it is going to die on its own."
Walsh said the goal was a humane approach to death rather than have the animal suffer over a number of days.
Kevin Baxter with the FWC said the sperm whale is about 30 to 35 feet in length and is 20 yards from the shore.
"Whales are usually stranded because there is something wrong with them health wise and so we are monitoring this whale right now," said Baxter.
Baxter said the sperm whale had been near the beach since 7:30 a.m.
Law enforcement was on the beach to make sure biologists are able to monitor the whale.
The whale is being towed to an isolated facility for research.
"Our goal is to make sure the animal will not suffer but to also make sure we learn as much as we can for future events," said Walsh. "Was it a natural cause, a toxic cause?"
It was a tough sight for the crowd to see but most people knew it was the most humane thing to do.
"It's the best thing that could've happened. No sense in taking it out and letting it suffer,” said Jeff Ryan, resident.