Stranded melon headed whale rescued on Fort Morgan beach - FOX10 News | WALA

Stranded melon headed whale rescued on Fort Morgan beach

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A melon headed whale that found itself in trouble was helped out Saturday morning by some humans on an Alabama beach. Photos courtesy Allen family A melon headed whale that found itself in trouble was helped out Saturday morning by some humans on an Alabama beach. Photos courtesy Allen family
Courtesy Allen family Courtesy Allen family
Courtesy Allen family Courtesy Allen family
Courtesy Institute for Marine Mammal Studies Courtesy Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
FORT MORGAN, AL (WALA) -

A melon headed whale that found itself in trouble was helped out Saturday morning by some humans on an Alabama beach.

The Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab assisted in the transport of a stranded melon headed whale to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The melon headed whale washed ashore in Fort Morgan on Saturday morning. A beach goer spotted the animal and called ALMMSN. 

Several firefighters from the Fort Morgan Fire Rescue and an employee with the Orange Beach Wildlife Center aided in stabilizing the animal and transporting it off the beach until ALMMSN arrived. 

ALMMSN met the IMMS team midway to their facility and transitioned the animal into the IMMS vehicle for the rest of the trip. 

"The animal handled the transport really well," Stranding Coordinator Noel Wingers said. 

The melon headed whale arrived at IMMS early this afternoon where it will be monitored and rehabbed.

IMMS Executive Director Dr. Moby Solangi said, "The animal is in the water, and breathing okay. He's stabilized very well and looking better, but he's not out of the woods. We sent bloodwork to the hospital and by this evening we should have a general idea of the road ahead."

A reminder that if you see a stranded animal on the beach, to not attempt to return the animal to the water and call ALMMSN for assistance at 1-877-WHALE-HELP. 

Here are other guidelines to follow, from a Dauphin Island Sea Lab news release:

  • Never push the animal back into the water. Marine mammals typically strand due to sickness or injury.
  • Pushing an animal back to sea increases stress levels, places the animal in additional danger from predators and could seriously injure the animal or yourself.
  • Keep unnecessary people, pets and noise away from the animal.
  • Do not leave the animal, it may not be able to keep itself upright.
  • Try not to excessively touch the animal.
  • Relieve pressure on fins and lungs by digging holes underneath them and filling with water.
  • Provide shade or repel wind to keep animal warm/cool.
  • Keep blowhole free of obstruction
  • Be careful around the mouth and tail area
  • Do NOT touch the melon (bulbous region just anterior to the blowhole). 
  • Stay with the animal until expert help arrives.

For more information on the Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network visit almmsn.disl.org.

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