GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Crews have responded to Huntington Beach State Park after a dead whale washed up onshore Friday, according to park officials.
A park manager said members of S.C.U.T.E., the sea turtle rescue group, discovered the pygmy sperm whale.
Rob Young, a professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University, said the pygmy sperm whale is the second most-common aquatic species to become stranded in South Carolina, preceded only by bottlenose dolphins.
“We don’t know what causes these strandings,” Young said. “When you have individuals that strand like this, something is usually wrong. They’re sick and dying. They don’t, obviously, don’t belong on the beach, so when they show up here, something’s wrong.”
A necropsy will be performed to determine how the whale died.