Sperm whale beached near St. Petersburg is euthanized

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Wildlife officials have euthanized a 30-foot sperm whale that beached itself near John's Pass on Thursday morning, according to WTSP.

The animal became stuck in the shallow water just dozens of feet from shore. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tells 10 News that the animal was emaciated and extremely thin.

Sperm whales typically swim in deep water and there is typically a health problem when one appears near shore or on the beach.

With no chance for the whale to survive on its own wildlife officials decided to humanely end its life.

A veterinarian for the University of Florida gave the whale a shot of a strong sedative, and after that a six-foot needle was plunged into the whale's chest cavity. A drug was then injected to stop its heart.

More images and video are available on WTSP.com.