Beached juvenile sperm whale dies in South Florida

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A 25-foot-long juvenile sperm whale died after beaching itself in South Florida on Saturday.

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The whale was beached at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Herman’s Bay Beach in southern St. Lucie County, TCPalm.com reported.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute responded to the area, the website reported.

“I sat there for two hours and watched it die,” Cristina Maldonado, of Stuart, told TCPalm.com. “It was traumatic.”

Maldonado said the whale had a rope looped around its lower jaw.

“It looked emaciated,” Maldonado told TCPalm.com.

According to oceanwide-expeditions.com, sperm whales will usually eat slightly more than 2,000 pounds of food a day. To find their prey, preferably giant squid, they usually dive somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 feet, and an average dive lasts about an hour.

The adult males are the only members of the sperm whale family that venture into colder waters. The pods of females and young remain in tropical and temperate zones, oceanwide-expeditions.com stated.

Autopsy results on the whale could take up to six months, WPTV reported.