A beached juvenile sperm whale that drew a large crowd of onlookers in Ocean City Sunday has died, according to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, which sent veterinarians to assist the animal.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Ocean City Police Department will remove the whale’s carcass from the beach near 114th Street, where it was discovered about 6:45 a.m., and the DNR will perform a necropsy to try to learn more about the animal and why it was stranded, a National Aquarium spokesperson said.
“As you can imagine, this has been a challenging day for not only Aquarium responders and partners, but all those on the beach throughout the morning,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We thank everyone for their support and concern.”
An aquarium official noted that some bystanders tried to push the whale toward deeper water and asked anyone who sees animals in distress to give them space and call a trained wildlife expert. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration’s number is 866-755-6622, the National Aquarium’s stranding hotline is 410-576-3880, and the Maryland Natural Resources Police can be reached at 1-800-628-9944.
“A whale has come ashore right in front of HPS this morning,” the condominium’s post said. “Reports are that it is still alive. Seems that authorities are on the scene. Will seek to provide an update when more is known.”