Dead Whale in Ponte Vedra

By Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor
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Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. -    The  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a dead whale on the beach in Ponte Vedra near Mickler's landing. FWC is asking that people not go to the scene because that interferes with their work. Currently they're collecting samples to perform a necropsy.

"We are working to verify a report of a humpback whale just off shore this morning. The animal is severely decomposed. We have photographs law enforcement took this morning. We have biologist going out, the plan will be to retrieve the remains to get verification of what species it is," said Nadia Gordon who is a biologist with FWC.

FWC will work with other agencies to find the best location to beach the animal and bury it on scene.

This is the second marine mammal to wash ashore in two days. Friday a dolphin was found on Jacksonville Beach. While FWC is waiting on lab results to determine the cause of that death, it's believed  the dolphin died as a result of the morbillivirus.

"In July 2013 an unusual mortality rate was declared for bottled nosed dolphins. It started in New York. It's the morbillivirus that dolphins are dying from. It's not contagious to humans, kind of like the measles," said Gordon.

The morbillivirus has killed 61 dolphins in northeast, Florida since October 2013. If you see a dead mammal on the beach don't go near it, instead call FWC at 1-888-404-3922.  

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