UPDATE: The whale died a day after this article
A sperm whale is stranded on the sand floor near the beach in Perth in Australia. “It’s not in good condition,” marine mammal expert Kelly Waples told local media.
The sperm whale is most likely the same one that was spotted on Saturday in shallow waters at Port Beach. An eyewitness video showed that people were swimming to the whale in an attempt to touch him. After about an hour, the whale swam away to deeper waters.
One of the people who swam to the whale on Saturday said that the whale had little energy, bloodshot eyes, and his skin had started to peel off.
Waples said she was there with a team to “monitor the animal’s condition” and to prevent “harassment and disturbance by people and by vessels.”
“We have a minimum approach distance in our legislation to make sure that people aren’t disturbing animals,” she added.
“I think it’s very unlikely given the circumstances and given the appearance and the condition of the whale that it’s going to survive,” Waples said.
Stranded sperm whale is rare
Sperm whales are one of the largest toothed whales known for their deep diving abilities and use of sound waves to hunt prey, primarily squid, in deep waters. Their preference for deep ocean habitats means strandings like this one in Australia are relatively rare and concerning.
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