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12-foot sperm whale calf washes ashore, dies on Flagler Beach

Necropsy will determine animal's cause of death

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FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. – A sperm whale calf died shortly after washing ashore on a Central Florida beach, officials said.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports a Flagler Beach police officer spotted the animal Wednesday night. The officer and several residents tried to help the calf, but it didn't survive.

George Biedenbach, director of conservation programs at Georgia Aquarium's Conservation Field Station in Marineland, said a necropsy will determine a cause of death.

He said the whale, about 12 feet long and at least 1,000 pounds, was probably a day or two old.

Biedenbach said he's surprised the whale washed ashore in Flagler Beach, since they usually prefer deeper water, several miles from shore.

He said there's no way to tell what happened to the mother.