FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - It doesn't look good for a 30,000 pound sperm whale stranded in Mobile Bay.
The adult whale, which was spotted last week, was last seen Sunday night in the water off Montrose. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which is monitoring the whale's poor condition, says the prognosis is not good. Their team is working to keep the whale comfortable, and keep boaters away from it. They are also considering euthanizing the animal if they believe it is suffering.
"We know that the animal is not well and there's really nothing we can do to treat it," Dr. Ruth Carmichael said. "Unfortunately with large animals like these, the best we can do is monitor it."
On average, two sperm whales are stranded in the Gulf of Mexico each year, according to the sea lab. This is the first documented stranded sperm whale in the state of Alabama. Their normal habitat is deep ocean water.
"I think it's special for all of us here on Mobile Bay, and we've certainly seen that evidenced by the outpouring of support from the community," Dr. Carmichael said. "It's really fantastic that people are invested in these animals and they are concerned and we really appreciate that."
Sperm whales are an endangered species and any interaction with the animal is considered harassment. The sea lab asks you remain at least 500 yards from the animal.
If you see the whale immediately contact the Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-877-Whale-Help (942-5343).