Rare whale found with shark bite marks now recovering at IMMS

Rare whale found with shark bite marks now recovering at IMMS
A rare melon-headed whale that was reported by a South Mississippi fishermen has been rescued and is being cared for by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. (Source: Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A rare melon-headed whale that was reported by a South Mississippi fishermen has been rescued and is being cared for by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport.

This whale is the only marine mammal that has stranded alive this year in Mississippi and Alabama.
This whale is the only marine mammal that has stranded alive this year in Mississippi and Alabama. (Source: Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)

The IMMS rescue team said the young whale had shark bite marks and other lesions and is in critical, but guarded condition. The veterinarian team is trying to stabilize the animal with antibiotics and fluids.

This kind of rare whale typically lives offshore in deeper waters. This one was found at Cat Island on Thursday. It’s the only marine mammal that has stranded alive this year in Mississippi and Alabama.

The IMMS Rescue Team, including veterinarian Dr. Debra Moore, said the whale is a male, juvenile, measuring 93 cm., weighing 185 lbs., and is in critical- guarded condition.
The IMMS Rescue Team, including veterinarian Dr. Debra Moore, said the whale is a male, juvenile, measuring 93 cm., weighing 185 lbs., and is in critical- guarded condition. (Source: Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)

IMMS is hoping this whale will give them added insight into what has been happening in the Mississippi Sound after the openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The goal is to not only study this whale, but get it healthy enough to release it back into the wild.

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