INDIAN SHORES BEACH, Fla. — Beachgoers got an up-close glimpse at rare sea life Friday when a Melon-headed whale was found beached.
Biologists with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium responded to the stuck animal at Indian Shores.
"They're usually found further offshore in deeper water," said Kerry Sanchez.
Sanchez is the senior rescue biologist at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. She said at this time, they're not sure how or why the whale ended up on the beach.
"They're either sick or they're injured," she said. "Outwardly there were no injuries on this animal, but that doesn't mean there wasn't something inside that we couldn't see."
She said it's a good thing their team found the whale before anyone else did because they know what to do.
Sometimes beachgoers stand around and take photos, or try to push the whale back in the ocean. Sanchez said sometimes that can end up being harmful to the whale — and you.
"They're stranded for a reason. They can carry diseases which they can give to us," Kerry said. "Also we can transmit something to them."
The good news is, the whale is expected to survive. It's at Sea World right now getting treated, and will eventually be put back in the ocean once it's well enough.
“All photos featured taken acknowledging the following – stranding response conducted under stranding agreement between NMFS and Clearwater Marine Aquarium under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”