Whale euthanized after getting stranded close to shore at Oak Island

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OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — A whale that got stranded close to shore near East 22nd Street in Oak Island Thursday morning has been euthanized.

The team examining the whale said there were injuries. If they determine someone intentionally hurt the whale they will reach out to authorities.

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A necropsy is planned for tomorrow on the beach.

NC Marine Patrol said they received a call around 9 a.m. and called the UNCW biology team for help.

When the biologists arrived shortly after noon, they were able to identified it as a male sperm whale. It was bleeding in the water when they got to the beach.

A crowd forms along Oak Island on Nov. 2, 2017, to check out a stranded sperm whale just off shore. (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)
A crowd forms along Oak Island on Nov. 2, 2017, to check out a stranded sperm whale just off shore. (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)


“This animal is just in the surf right now on its right side,” UNCW Biologist William McLellan said. “It’s still breathing but at this size you can’t really pick them up and move them around it’s very difficult situation.”

WWAY reporter Jenna Kurzyna says there were a couple hundred people along the shore watching it all unfold. People there were using towels to keep the whale wet until the biologist arrived to assess the whale’s condition.

“It may seem crazy but I wanted it to know that it wasn’t alone and there was hope,” resident Betsy Herron said.

McLellan said these whales are an endangered species.

“Every situation is different with these guys,” McLellan said. “For this animal, the prospective of it getting where it needs to go is 100 miles of shore.”