NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says two pygmy sperm whales that beached on Neptune Beach have been put down and a necropsy is being performed.
Crews with the FWC, Marine Mammal Response, Atlantic Beach Ocean Rescue and lifeguards responded to the scene Sunday morning.
Witnesses told News4Jax the mother whale was attacked by a shark and the baby followed the mother ashore. FWC said the baby was born earlier Sunday.
"What may have happened was the mother was giving birth this morning near shore and a shark was in the area. Witnesses did report to us seeing a commotion where the shark may have been interacting with the adult female," said Cheyanne Ruben with FWC.
After looking over mom and calf, FWC made the decision to put the whales down.
"It was ill-advised to put animals back in the water with a potential shark being there and a new neonate calf. There could have been other reasons why the adult stranded as well," Ruben said.
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