MALIBU, Calif. – Lifeguards and beachgoers helped bring a beached baby whale to safety in Malibu Friday, but wildlife officials ultimately decided the animal needed to be euthanized.
Beachgoers reported seeing the distressed whale by Tower 14 on Zuma Beach, along Pacific Coast Highway around 8 a.m. The group was seen trying to push the whale back into the ocean.
KTLA helicopter pilot Mark Kono (@MarkKonoSky5 / @laflyingcamers), who flew over the area for about 30 minutes, said the animal looked too tired to swim on its own.
Lifeguards and a marine animal rescue team arrived at the beach around 8:50 a.m. They carried the baby whale to a van where the animal would likely get cared for by marine animal rescue team.
Sadly, the animal was suffering from numerous health issues, including chronic wounds, diarrhea and blindness, leading wildlife officials to euthanize the animal, KTLA reports. "We were advised by experienced veterinarians at Sea World in cooperation with NOAA that this species does not fare well in rehabilitation and combined with other problems ... the decision was made to euthanize," Jennifer Brent with the Wildlife Center told the station.