MALIBU (CBSLA) – Veterinarians were forced to euthanize a small whale which was rescued after getting beached in Malibu Friday morning.

(Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguards/Twitter)

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The 800-pound, 9-foot-long pygmy sperm whale drew a small crowd after being spotted sometime before 8:30 a.m. on Zuma Beach.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguards, California Wildlife Center staff and Marine Mammal Rescue Team volunteers initially tried to push the whale back into the ocean, but realized it was too weak.

With the help of beachgoers and volunteers, lifeguards carried the whale and loaded it into a pickup truck, where it was transported to a nearby lifeguard station for treatment.

Veterinarian Stephany Lewis told CBS2 that pygmy sperm whales are not common in this area.

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“This is a pygmy sperm whale, it’s not a common species that we get reports of in this area,” Lewis said. “It appears to be in good body condition, but it does appear to have injuries and infection to both eyes with is currently rendering it blind.”


Lewis said she consulted experts at SeaWorld, who told her the prognosis was not good.

“Because of the situation, it’s much better to humanely euthanize the animal,” Lewis added.

It was euthanized a little before 11 a.m., officials told CBS2.

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Lewis said she was unsure as to what may have sickened the mammal.