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Sperm Whale Stranded on Sandbar Near Venice, Florida, Measures 50 Feet

Update: Tragic Loss as Beached Whale Passes Away. Stay Informed Here.

Efforts were made by officials to aid a stranded whale measuring 50 feet in length off the shores of Venice Beach, Florida, on Sunday. Initially believed to be around 70 feet long, by Sunday night, authorities revised their estimate to 50 feet, weighing between 50,000 to 70,000 pounds.

Situated on a sandbar approximately 50 yards from Service Club Park, the City of Venice reported the whale's location. Collaborating with scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory, the Venice Police and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office are involved in the rescue operation for the identified sperm whale.

Crowds gathered along the shoreline to witness the adult sperm whale stranded on a sandbar near Service Club Beach in Venice on Sunday, March 10, 2024. Access to the park has been restricted by law enforcement to facilitate assessments conducted by scientists and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

By late Sunday, adverse weather conditions impeded officials' attempts to administer a sedative to the whale for rescue efforts. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that their best course of action was to reassess the situation on Monday due to rough seas.

Reports from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a part of the USA TODAY Network, indicated that by late morning, hundreds of spectators had gathered along the shore to observe the stranded whale. Gretchen Lovewell, Manager of Mote Marine Strandings Investigation Program, disclosed receiving a distress call about the whale's sighting on a sandbar roughly 150 yards from the beach at 8:30 a.m.

Despite relocation to a nearer sandbar, the whale, dependent on deep waters for survival, was observed deteriorating slowly. By Sunday night, the whale exhibited signs of labored breathing but remained alive.

Monitoring efforts involve scientists from various agencies including Mote, FWC, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, University of Florida, and Sarasota Dolphin Project, focusing on the whale's respiratory patterns, as reported by the Herald-Tribune.

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