Beached Whale in Malibu Euthanized Due to Multiple Health Problems

A Pygmy sperm whale

A Pygmy sperm whale found ashore at Zuma Beach early Jan. 18 was later euthanized due to several health issues.

“We were advised by experienced veterinarians at SeaWorld in cooperation with NOAA that this species does not fare well in rehabilitation and combined with other problems (chronic wounds, diarrhea, blindness…) the decision was made to euthanize,” CWC Executive Director Jennifer Brent wrote in an email to The Malibu Times

According to an initial physical exam conducted by the CWC, the whale was an adult female “in good body condition.” However, the center, in a social media post, wrote: “The whale had bilateral conjunctivitis, or eye infections in both eyes, which caused her blindness. She had abrasions on her body and a chronic wound on the right side just cranial to her fluke. She also had bloody discharge.”

The whale was found on the shore at Zuma Beach in the early morning hours. The CWC’s marine mammal department received a call at 7:30 a.m. 

Los Angeles County Lifeguards and the CWC worked together to respond to the beaching and began monitoring the whale as soon as the call came in.

“It’s the second Pygmy sperm whale that we’ve had in six months, which is highly unusual,” Brent said.

The body of the whale was picked up later that day, Jan. 18, for testing at the Natural History Museum.