A emaciated adolescent sperm whale beached itself Oct. 31, 2013, off of Madiera Beach, Fla.
(Photo : Associated Press)
Officials euthanized a 32-foot sperm whale off the shore near John's Pass, Florida, according to CNN.
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The adolescent male whale, whose body is the size of a school bus, weighs close to 10 tons. It was towed from Madeira Beach, Florida to Fort de Soto Park.
Veterinarians from the University of Florida decided to euthanize the whale because it wouldn't have been able to survive on its own.
"He didn't get to have a long and healthy life, which is quite a shame," Mike Walsh, co-director of the Aquatic Animal Health program at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine, said to The Tampa Tribune.
Sperm whales are rarely seen close to the shore, and this one seemed to be "emaciated," according to CNN.
The whale was given a strong sedative before the experts administered a drug by inserting a 6-foot needle into the whale's chest cavity. The whale's heart stopped shortly after.
"Although it looks large and scary, it is a very humane thing to do," said Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Sperm whales eat fish and squid and can dive almost 3,000 feet to find food.