Stranded whale in Mobile Bay euthanized

MONTROSE, Ala. (AP) — Veterinarians on Wednesday euthanized a sperm whale that had been stranded in Mobile Bay and was no longer able to swim, a conservation group announced.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Marine Mammal Research Program said the whale was sedated and euthanized Wednesday morning.

“Euthanasia was the best option for this animal who was suffering and unable to swim and survive any longer in the wild. The process went very smoothly. We were able to find a window of calm weather to sedate the animal and administer the medication necessary,” the agency said in a news release.

The 35-foot whale had been in the bay for about a week and repeatedly stranded itself, a sign that something was wrong, biologists said.

The whale initially stranded itself Thursday. It had the opportunity to swim out to deeper water but stranded itself again at least twice, the organization said over the weekend.

Biologists had cautioned earlier that the prognosis for the whale was poor. The whale in the bay drew curious onlookers and concern for the sick animal.

“We appreciate the public and their concern for this sick whale and their understanding as we continued our search to safely do our work,” the group said Wednesday.