DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Officials say a pygmy sperm whale has died after stranding itself on a Florida beach.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 10-foot-long marine mammal was spotted Friday morning.

Volusia County Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue Capt. Andrew Ethridge says the county’s marine mammal stranding network and the Marine Discovery Center responded to help.

The whale was packed with ice to preserve its internal organs and taken to the Discovery Center so Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute biologists could conduct a necropsy and try to determine why the whale died.

Biologist Wendy Noke says there were indicators of heart disease, a common cause of death in pygmy sperm whales

Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal,

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