Nags Head – On December 27th, a juvenile sperm whale was found near Jeanette’s Pier on the Outer Banks, prompting an urgent response from the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Members of the network were alerted to a juvenile sperm whale stranded within the turbulent surf zone around 7:30 a.m.
Positioned in the precarious “swash” zone where waves crash onto the beach, officials at Jennette’s Pier highlighted safety concerns in a social media announcement. They advised that working directly with the whale in such conditions was unsafe for responders, necessitating a different approach to ensure the safety of those involved.
Throughout the morning, a vigilant watch was maintained from the safety of Jennette’s Pier as responders observed the stranded whale.
The N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island noted in a statement shared on social media, “Because rehabilitation for many large species is difficult or impossible, the best course of action is humane euthanasia.”
A collaborative effort between marine mammal experts from Virginia and North Carolina has been scheduled. Their objective: to conduct a necropsy, unraveling more about the circumstances surrounding the stranding and to ascertain the underlying cause behind this unfortunate incident.
The community needs to report any sightings of sick, injured, or stranded whales, dolphins, seals, or manatees along the Outer Banks from the Virginia line to Nags Head. Reports can be made to the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 252-455-9654. For strandings within Cape Hatteras National Seashore, individuals are encouraged to call 252-216-6892.