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Large whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline

A sperm whale beached itself off the coast of Venice in Southwest Florida on Sunday as local authorities tried to assess the mammal's condition.
Large whale spotted beached on sandbar off Florida coastline
Posted at 7:40 PM, Mar 10, 2024

A whale beached itself off the coast of Venice on Sunday, leaving local authorities trying to assess the whale's condition and the next steps to take.

The Venice Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office units were assisting Mote Marine Laboratory staff with the beached whale about 50 yards out from Service Club Park, off the coast of Venice. The whale was identified as a sperm whale and was alive by early Sunday night. 

It was situated on a sandbar and was estimated to be about 50 feet long and 50,000-70,000 pounds.

The Venice Police Department said in a post to social media, "water conditions are too dangerous to approach the sperm whale in distress ... by boat to attempt to give the animal a sedative."

Police said, "Unfortunately it appears this will likely be a recovery effort as nature takes its course." 

Sea vessels were asked to stay out of the whale's area in the surrounding water. 

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Police closed the entrance to Service Club Park while Mote Marine and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission worked to assess the whale's situation.

Authorities asked people to avoid the area to allow Mote staff to conduct their assessments.

Venice Police said on Sunday, "the immediate vicinity of the whale is restricted until further notice. There will be police presence at the beach overnight into Monday."

This story was originally published by Scripps News Tampa with additional reporting from Scripps News. 

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