Melon-Headed Whale Found Near Clearwater Beach Transported To SeaWorld For Care

Members of the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium assisted in the rescue of an 290 pound adult melon-headed whale in Clearwater Beach, Fla. The teams were called to assist by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) after getting a call about this animal being on the beach. Upon conferring with NOAA Fisheries after assessing the animal, the decision was made to transport the animal to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.

The whale was successfully transported to SeaWorld Orlando’s Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility for further evaluation and rehabilitation. After an initial veterinary exam and treatment, the whale was observed to have no visible external injuries and was able to swim unsupported at the park’s rescue facility. Treatment including antibiotics and fluids, along with blood work and other diagnostic tests are being performed to determine the next steps in whale’s recovery plan. The first 24 to 96 hours at SeaWorld is the critical time for the whale in determining the long-term prognosis.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team is on call 24/7 to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals. In collaboration with NOAA Fisheries and other members of stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs authorized to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 31,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than five decades.

Footage of rescued cetaceans is produced by SeaWorld under the National Marine Fisheries Service Marine Mammal Health and Response Program.