PALM COAST, Fla. (AP/WJW) — A 21-foot killer whale died after beaching itself on the Atlantic coast in central Florida Wednesday, authorities said.
The orca landed on a beach in Palm Coast, Florida, located more than 60 miles south of Jacksonville, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Crews from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the sheriff’s office were on hand to help remove the carcass so that a necropsy can be performed, Messod Bendayan, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said in an email.
Video posted by the sheriff’s office showed the orca laying on its side as waves splashed against it.
Orcas are among the largest and most powerful marine mammals in the ocean. It is rare for them to be stranded in Florida.