BOCA RATON (Palm Beach Post
) — A dead sperm whale washed ashore near Spanish River Boulevard in Boca Raton this morning.
Authorities were alerted to the whale about 9 a.m. when callers reported a whale floating about a half mile offshore, said Boca Raton police spokesman Mark Economou. The wind brought the whale to the beach and sharks had already begun to feed on the mammal.
Wildlife officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are at the scene. They are trying to discover if this is the same whale found beached in the Florida Keys Jan. 4, said Katie Johnson, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. After a necropsy on that one, it was returned to the ocean and could have come north.
The whale is about 35 to 40 feet long and weighs anywhere from 15 to 40 tons. Authorities may have to tow the whale back into the ocean because they are having trouble pulling it further inland for a necropsy.