A small whale stranded on a beach in Victoria could belong to a species that has rarely been seen in the state’s waters. The 2.5 metre whale at Logans Beach, east of Warrnambool, is believed to be either a pygmy sperm whale or a dwarf sperm whale, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning says.
The small adult whale remains stranded after an attempt by volunteers to refloat it on Monday failed amid rough weather.
“The fact that the whale re-stranded itself may be an indicator that the whale is not healthy, and its stranding was not accidental,” DELWP wildlife emergencies officer Mandy Watson said in a statement.
The whale will be stabilised in shallow water so a vet can examine it while a new course of action is determined, DELWP says.
The department has advised people not to approach within 300 metres of the stranded whale without authorisation.
If the whale is indeed a dwarf sperm whale, it will be the second time in as many days a member of the rare species has become stranded on a Victorian beach.
Melbourne Museum is currently analysing the skeleton of a 2.42m female whale that died after becoming stranded at Lake Tyers Beach, in Gippsland, on April 30, to determine if it’s a dwarf sperm whale.
There are early indications she belonged to the rarely seen dwarf sperm whale species, the Kogia sima, which is also the smallest whale species in the world.