88. Newborn sperm whale dies after beaching itself in Daytona Beach Shores

Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®

Baby sperm whale beaches itself to die in Daytona Beach Shores, FL on Oct. 11, 2014 / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /

This 10-foot-long infant sperm whale beached itself on the shoreline on the morning of Oct. 11, and died.

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. -- The discovery of a beached whale in October was a story with a sad ending, but certainly a part of nature.

The discovery of a 10-foot sperm whale in the 2600 block of South Atlantic Avenue on the shoreline before noon on Saturday Oct. 11, drew dozens of onlookers, said Beach Safety spokeswoman Tamra Marris.

The whale was not euthanized as some media outlets reported, but died on its own just before rescuers arrived. 

Hubbs-Sea World and the Volusia County Marine Mammal Stranding Team responded, and the whale was pronounced dead about 2 p.m., Marris said. The sperm whale that beached that day was a newborn, Marris said, based on information from Hubbs-Sea World.

?Crowd gathers in Daytoa Beach Shores to check out a beached baby whale / Headline Surfer®Beached baby whale / Headline Surfer®The beached baby whale  comes in at No. 88 in the HeadlineSurfer.com countdown of the top 100 local stories of 2014.

This was the report Marris received from Meghan Stolen with Hubbs-Sea World after a necropsy performed the next day: "The whale was thin and had nothing in its stomach (no milk)." Stolen said. "The lungs looked to be in bad shape as well."

Stolen said the baby whale was tested for morbillivirus because it "stranded during the unusual mortality event that was on-going at that time."

But, Stolen added, "The test came back negative so its unlikely that this whale died from that disease. Our best guess is that the newborn became separated from the mother -- maybe she died? Newborn whales and dolphins remain with mom and depend on her for milk/food so its likely that was the cause of the stranding."

Meghan Stolen said the baby whale likely beached itself and died after being separated from its mother.

"Maybe she died? Newborn whales and dolphins remain with mom and depend on her for milk/food so its likely that was the cause of the stranding."

  

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.