VALIANT EFFORT: Melon-headed whale euthanized

Coastal Naturalist and President of the Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalists, Alicia Cavazos of San Benito (left) and Sea Turtle Inc. Marketing Director Tiffany Anderson (right) of South Padre Island support a recently stranded melon-headed whale at the UT Pan American Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island. (Staff photo by Craig Alaniz)

Coastal Naturalist and President of the Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalists, Alicia Cavazos of San Benito (left) and Sea Turtle Inc. Marketing Director Tiffany Anderson (right) of South Padre Island support a recently stranded melon-headed whale at the UT Pan American Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island. (Staff photo by Craig Alaniz)

By CRAIG ALANIZ
Reporter/Photographer
press@portisabelsouthpadre.com 

An injured Melon-Headed Whale was found beached half a mile north of Highway 100 on South Padre Island Monday.

Cameron County Coastal Agent Tony Reisinger said the whale is the third most common beached mammal on the Texas Coast.

Reisinger said the whale had to be watched around the clock, adding that the mammal was smaller than average at 7 feet, 8 inches long. He said normally these animals are longer than 9 feet, travel in pods of 300 to 1,000 and consume squid.

The whale was treated by Dr. Tom DeMaar, Head veterinarian at Gladys Porter Zoo, in the University of Texas Pan American coastal studies lab on South Padre Island. The deep water whale was the first to appear beached on South Padre Island since 2007. That whale suffered from brain parasites. More tests will be done to figure out what happened to this whale, Reisinger said.

Reisinger said Dr. DeMaar did not think the whale would make it to a bigger tank in Corpus Christi, so the decision was made to euthanize the marine mammal. He said the whale was so weak that it passed when sedatives were administered.

Read this story in the Feb. 28 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2013/02/28/valiant-effort-melon-headed-whale-euthanized/

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