A Pygmy Sperm Whale washed up at Beach Bay Thursday night.
The animal was apparently alive when local residents called to alert the Department of Environment of the stranding, but had died by the time department staff got to the beach.
Tim Austin, department deputy director, and other staff secured the whale at the site overnight.
“It measured 2.75 meters [9 feet] in length and probably weighed around 650 pounds… There were no obvious signs as to why it stranded and died but perhaps the necropsy will tell us more,” said Mr. Austin.
The whale was transported to St. Matthew’s University for a necropsy Friday morning.
The animal had lost skin from lying on the rocks and was bleeding from those wounds.
“It’s not our first stranding of this species, but it is not a common occurrence,” Mr. Austin said.
The Department of Environment has reported the stranding to the Caribbean Stranding Network and US Stranding Network and is collecting samples to assist in regional research and reporting.
“This species lives at sea in deep water feeding on deep water squid and is rarely seen due to its habit of surfacing quietly and slowly and hanging motionless in the water,” said Mr. Austin.