PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA)--Have you seen a stranded whale near Pensacola Beach? If so, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge needs your help.
The animal was spotted several times, but was eventually lost.
The whale is believed to be about 7 to 10 feet long and was last seen near Pensacola Beach.
“The animal is likely to be an offshore species. It’s very unusual to be in coastal waters like this here in Florida,” said Brittany Dolan with Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
This may seem similar to what we saw last year when a sperm whale stranded in Mobile Bay. But, that’s not the case.
“When we’re talking about a sperm whale, it is a different species. That’s a very large tooth whale. So, what we’re dealing with is a much smaller animal,” Dolan said.
“These situations are always different. That’s really important to remember as well. An animal that’s 10 feet long that’s been spotted in shallow waters in Pensacola is going to present a very different case than something that’s 32 feet long and stranded in Mobile Bay,” said McKenzie Russell with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Workers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab responded to that incident and they, along with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge have some tips on what to do if you see a stranded whale.
“We always want to remind people to stay away. Listen to what the responders are requesting of them. Which is usually to stay away from the animal until trainer spotters can get there to assist that animal,” Russell said.
“Never push them back. If they’re on the beach more likely than not, they need medical attention,” Dolan said.
If you spot a stranded animal, call 1-877-WHALE-HELP(942-5343)