WAM 637 - Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima)

volunteers on Topsail Island care for the whale

Volunteers on Topsail Island care for the whale

The UNCW Stranding Team received a report of a live whale stranded just north of the Surf City Pier at 17:00 on Sunday, August 26, 2007. The Stranding Team arrived at 18:00 and found a live juvenile female dwarf sperm whale that was sitting upright in a small pool that had been carved into the sand. There were 6-8 people in the small pool supporting the animal and they had it covered with wet cloths. They also had a bucket briggade working to keep seawater in the pool.

After assessing the situation on the beach, the decision was made to transport the whale to the Topsail Island Turtle Hospital, due to the incoming tide. For the health and comfort of the whale, it was sedated prior to transport. The Stranding Team arrived at the Sea Turtle Hopsital at 20:20. The animal had gone through two violent dorsal arches during the transport and was twithching mildly when the team arrived at the hospital. The Stranding Program veterinarian performed a thorough assessment of the animal. Due to the animal's poor condition and poor potential for transport and rehabilitation, a decision was made to humanely euthanize the whale.

dwarf sperm whale

A thorough necropsy was conducted on the whale at UNC

A thorough necropsy was conducted at UNC Wilmington starting at 8:00 on August 27, 2007. The lungs were both extremely congested and the liver had gross pathologies consistent with chronic degeneration. Histopathology samples have been sent to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville veterinary school and results are pending.

Whale euthanized after washing up in Surf City - Wilmington Star News article, Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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