According to SeaWorld, the female pygmy whale, which is actually in the dolphin family, apparently beached herself on a jagged oyster and was left exposed for a long period of time, resulting in severe dehydration.
The pygmy killer whale was sent to SeaWorld's rescue facility by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, arriving at around 4 p.m. She was immediately put into a quarantine area where SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team and vets gave her immediate treatment.
Pygmy killer whales are usually found in deep tropical waters and traveling in groups of 10 to 30, which makes it extremely rare for one to beach itself.
“The animal is in guarded condition at this time,” said Jon Peterson, Assistant Curator of Animal Care for SeaWorld Orlando. “When an animal comes into our care this critical, the first 48 hours are crucial and we take every measure to stabilize the animal. We remain cautiously optimistic at this time for improvement.” SeaWorld said that their rescue team is currently in the pool with the dolphin, monitoring her at all times to support and help her swim.
A rare pygmy killer whale that beached itself off the west coast of Florida was brought to SeaWorld Orlando's rescue facility for round-the-clock care on Tuesday, July 28.