Mother whale dead, calf euthanized after being stranded on Horry - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Mother whale dead, calf euthanized after being stranded on Horry County beach

Image of the beached calf whale. Source: Patti Hulbert Image of the beached calf whale. Source: Patti Hulbert
Photo of the beached mother whale. Source: Mandy Noell Photo of the beached mother whale. Source: Mandy Noell

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A mother whale has died and her calf has been euthanized, after both were stranded on a beach near Kingston Plantation in Horry County, officials confirmed.

The calf was taken to Ark Animal Hospital this afternoon where it was put down, according to Wayne McFee, Research Wild Life Biologist with NOAA and Dr. Rob Young, a marine biologist with CCU. It is believed that the calf has been alive for several months.

If they put the baby back into the water after its mother died, it won't rehabilitate, according to Dr. Young.

A necropsy will be performed on the calf at the NOAA facility in Charleston tomorrow. A necropsy is being done on the mother at this time, according to McFee. Like a human autopsy, the results may take several weeks to get.

The mother pygmy sperm whale died at around 11 a.m., after coming ashore and beaching, according to an official with Horry County Beach Patrol. Beach Patrol and beach-goers tried to put both whales back in the water, but she continued to beach herself.  

Marine biologists from Coastal Carolina University were with the calf earlier today. A video sent in from Patti Hulbert shows the calf in shallow water, moving its fins.

The whales were first reported beached near the waterline at about 9 a.m. Thursday, and since then, a large crowd has gathered, said Lt. Raul Denis with Horry County Police.  

Dr. Young said that, on average, about six pygmy sperm whales become beached on the South Carolina shore per year.

Kingston Plantation is in an area of unincorporated Horry County, between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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