A pygmy sperm whale was euthanized Monday morning after it washed up on Malibu Beach in Egg Harbor Township, between Ocean City and Longport.
The whale was found alive but sickly and injured, said Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Staff from the center picked up the mammal and transported it to their facility in Brigantine.
Schoelkopf said the mature, 10-foot animal should normally be feeding on squid in the deep ocean this time of year.
He suspected the whale had heart problems of some kind that caused it be lethargic and float to shore, something he said is common in this species.
He said the stranding center’s staff would be performing an necropsy on the animal.