Last Wednesday morning, visitors and locals of the beach Jungle Hut Park, in Palm Coast, about 50 kilometers north of Daytona Beach, were surprised when they saw an orca stranded on the seashore. The animal, which measured about six meters, died despite attempts to help it from biologists and specialized personnel. Now, the authorities try to find what were the possible causes of his death.
On the morning of January 11, a bather who was walking along the beach He found himself on the seashore with the gigantic animal. He had been stranded and at that point was still alive. According to information from CNNthe man quickly alerted the officials, but when the specialized team arrived to provide their aid, it was too late.
Meanwhile, shortly after 8:00 a.m., the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office reported the incident through its social media. In the post, some images and videos were shared in which the orca was seen, while the waves broke on the seashore. Around them were personnel from different agencies, such as the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Seaworld, the famous marine park.
The unusual incident caught the attention of the citizens who were in the surroundings, who tried to get closer to observe the details. Due to the interest and buzz generated, local authorities asked people to avoid the area. They even had to close a nearby road: “Due to the large number of people watching the whale, Jungle Hut Road is now closed to traffic. Please avoid the area”expressed in their account Twitter.
After approximately six hours of work, the Flager Sheriff’s Office reported that the cetacean had been removed from the beach and that the roads resumed their daily flow. Meanwhile, it was detailed that the members of Seaworld and FWS would be in charge of carrying out necropsy to determine cause of death.
Dr. Erin Fougeres, manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) marine mammal stranding program, said that It is the first orca to run aground in the southeastern United States. In other words, the case not only generates intrigue among the public, but also among experts.
“There is a lot of interest in trying to sample her extensively and determining the reason why she might have been sick until she was stranded,” he explained to CNN. The specialist added that the whale will be transferred to a laboratory to begin with the pertinent examinations. However, he also anticipated that it could take weeks and even months to determine his cause of death.
According to the website NOAA Fisheries, the orca is the main predator of the sea and “is found in all the oceans of the world. They are the cetaceans that are most widely distributed. It is estimated that there are around 50,000 worldwide; of these, 2,500 would live in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. However, over time, several populations of this species “have declined and are in danger of extinction”.