(PatrioticPost.com)- Researchers say they’ve never seen a killer whale beach itself and die in Florida.
According to local reports, a massive 21-foot female orca crashed onto the Palm Coast, Florida beach, 30 miles north of Daytona Beach, giving tourists and locals a close-up view. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls the orca, or killer whale, the ocean’s top predator.
A beachwalker found the three-and-a-half-ton orca at 6 a.m. The man called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The man called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and told them something big was in the water, 25 feet offshore. He sent a picture to a biologist to confirm that it was an orca because of its white underside.
Reports show the orca died before rescuers arrived. The Flagler County Sheriff’s office reported that SeaWorld and the FWC would necropsy the large marine mammal.
The Flagler Sheriff’s photos and video show the orca on the shore with waves crashing into it. Due to the large crowds that gathered to see the rare sight, they advised people to stay away and closed the road.
Local news reported that dozens of people, a bulldozer, and compact loaders were needed to remove the orca from the beach. Twitter footage shows the killer whale arriving at SeaWorld Orlando in a trailer with its tail hanging off.
Since there were no signs of a shark attack or boat collision, researchers are unsure what caused the orca to beach itself. According to a report, a NOAA official said it showed signs of various illnesses.
The Smithsonian may display the orca’s skeleton.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Foundation, whales and other animals often beach themselves due to illness, injury, bad weather, navigational errors, or hunting too close to shore. The group says orcas rarely beach unintentionally.
NOAA reports 50,000 killer whales in every ocean. Most live in colder waters around Alaska, Norway, and Antarctica, but some live in subtropical and tropical waters.
Even killer whales love Florida.