MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Police responded to a call about a whale that reportedly washed up on the shore around 18th Avenue North Sunday evening.
The pygmy sperm whale was about eight to 10 feet long, said Sgt. Philip Cain with Myrtle Beach Beach Patrol. These animals have a history of heart disease; when one gets sick, it beaches itself to die. That's most likely what happened, he said.
Onlookers were unhappy with the lack of action, but officials say they did everything they could under state and federal law.
According to Sgt. Cain, state and federal law bans anyone from helping an animal back out to sea because of fear of spreading disease. He added that there was a veterinarian on scene with expertise in marine strandings.
They say the efforts continued for several hours and the scene kept getting uglier and uglier.
"You could see it still breathing, and the bottom of it was bloody," said beachgoer Tony Frazier. "But they said, the beach guard said, because it kept rolling and they thought it was dead, but it would turn and try to fix its way self out."
Lieutenant John Bertang with Myrtle Beach Police said that the whale is being taken by a specialist from Conway where the animal will have an necropsy.
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