January 2, 2008
FWC BIOLOGISTS EXAMINE DEAD SPERM WHALE AT FORT DE SOTO PARK
Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), in a collaborative effort with partner organizations, examined a sperm whale carcass at Fort De Soto Park yesterday.
Preliminary necropsy findings indicate the whale was emaciated and suffered from chronic illness. Pending test results may determine specifics of the disease. The animal was likely an older female approximately 30 feet in length.
Sperm whales are present year-round in deep water areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Typically, healthy sperm whales are not found near shore. In the past ten years, three other sperm whales stranded themselves on Florida's west coast.
In addition to the FWC, the multiple-agency event response included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, Mote Marine Laboratory, The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Fort De Soto Park, U.S. Coast Guard, the St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island Police Departments.
To learn more about FWRI research projects visit http://research.myfwc.com/
To view this press release online, please visit http://research.myfwc.com/news/view_article.asp?id=30138