MALIBU (CNS) - An injured pygmy sperm whale that was initially rescued by Los Angeles County lifeguards and firefighters at a Malibu beach ultimately had to be euthanized, wildlife officials said today.
Lifeguards were called about the beached whale at Malibu Surfrider Beach, in the 23000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, around 4:40 p.m. Sunday, according L.A. County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.
Lifeguards and firefighters loaded the whale onto a truck about 5:15 p.m., and it was taken to be treated by wildlife experts, Pittman said.
The whale was visibly injured, with multiple bloody cuts and abrasions. Officials with the California Wildlife Center confirmed Monday that the whale had to be euthanized.
``With the invaluable assistance of Los Angeles county lifeguards and fire department, we were able to remove the whale from harm's way on the beach,'' according to the center. ``The whale was in poor health and had sustained many injuries as a result of hitting against low tide rocks. Working with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), we opted to humanely euthanize the animal, in order to prevent additional suffering.''
According to the center, based in Calabasas, the whale's body was sent to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for further study.